Student Handbook

Alphabetical Listing

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | R | S | T | U | V | W

About Geneseo: The Town & Village

The rolling landscape and rich farmland of Geneseo was settled in 1790. According to legend, the region that Geneseo is found on was called "Jo-nis-hi yuh" by the Senaca Indians, meaning "the pleasant valley."

The hillside setting that sits in the backdrop of this vibrant community has been preserved and enhanced by the presence of two Wadsworth family manor houses; one located at either end of Main Street. Because the area reminded the original Wadsworth pioneers of England's legendary countryside, majestic oaks were spared when the land was cleared for the creation of a residential area. Today, these great oaks remain a distinctive feature of the landscape.

The Village is one of a handful of National Historic Landmarks in the country. This recognition was granted in 1991 by the United States Department of the Interior as an acknowledgment of Geneseo's distinctive architectural heritage and ambiance. Considered by leading architects as "a museum of historic buildings," the Village boasts a wide range of architectural styles and periods.

At the center of Main Street is another Geneseo legend. Residents still gather around the bear fountain for parades and other community functions. Even the students of Geneseo have incorporated the Bear into their own culture and myths.

Geneseo First Response

The student-run Geneseo First Response is a medical emergency first responder unit whose mission is to provide high-quality auxiliary medical care at night and around the clock on weekends. Students from First Response are required to be trained in basic first aid, and many are certified EMTs. For more information, call the Student Association Office at (585) 245-5878 or University Police at (585) 245-5651.

Geneseo Foundation

The Geneseo Foundation is the fund-raising division of the College. Established in 1971 as a not-for-profit and tax exempt organization, the Foundation’s mission is to accept and administer private gifts to help preserve and enhance excellence at SUNY Geneseo. Private gifts support many activities and programs for which state funding is not provided, including: merit scholarships for outstanding students; research and professional travel for students and faculty; support for student activities; speakers and special events; diversity programs; campus beautification; support for academic departments; excellence awards for faculty and staff; co-sponsorship of the Student Honors Convocation.

The Geneseo Foundation and the Geneseo Alumni Association support a wide variety of merit scholarships for undergraduates. These grants assist and reward students who have shown academic strength and demonstrated active and productive involvement in high school and college. During the past decade, the Foundation has awarded $2.9 million in scholarships to over 3700 outstanding and deserving students.

The opportunity for undergraduate students to conduct research is a unique and rewarding experience for everyone involved. Geneseo currently has a strong tradition of providing such opportunities for undergraduates. The Undergraduate Research Grant Program is co-sponsored by the Geneseo Foundation and the Geneseo Student Association. Research grant funds are designed to aid undergraduates in the purchase of supplies and equipment and other expenses they might incur in their research project. Expenses that are also covered by the funds include travel to present research at professional or scholarly meetings.


Geneseo Learning Outcomes for Baccalaureate Education (GLOBE) is a framework for building and assessing a holistic student experience at Geneseo.


Final grades are recorded as “A”, “A-”, “B +”, “B”, “B-”, “C+”, “C”, “C-”, “D”, “E”, “P”, “F”, “S”, “U” and “W”.

•Some majors require a minimum competence of “C-” in selected courses.
•Grades of “A” through “D” are satisfactory for core courses, electives, and courses in the major unless otherwise noted (see above).

The pass/fail option is available to sophomores and above with cumulative grade point averages of 2.0 or better and may be applied only to elective courses outside their major department. Students may use the pass/fail option for a maximum of four courses and only once in a given semester.

•A grade of “P” is earned via grades of “A” through “C-.”
•A grade of “F” is earned via a grade of "D" or “E.”

Some courses are graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (“S”/ “U”).

A grade of “S” requires the minimum equivalent of “C” level work.

A grade of “U” is earned via grades of “D” or “E.”

A grade of “W’ represents a course from which the student has withdrawn by the date listed in the Master Schedule (see “Semesters at a Glance” above).

To determine how to appeal a grade, go to: Grade Appeals

Refer to the Undergraduate Bulletin for further important information on academic policy.

Greek Life

There are over 30 Greek letter organizations represented on the Geneseo campus. There are both local organizations and nationally affiliated sororities and fraternities. Membership recruitment is open to all students, however, first semester freshmen are unable to pledge (i.e., join), and new transfer students must seek approval from the Dean of Students or the Coordinator for Fraternal Life.

The Inter-Greek Council (IGC) is a self-governing organization for many of the social organizations whose purpose is: to provide an organizational framework for promoting the interests of fraternities and sororities at Geneseo; to unite the members of these organizations in good fellowship and loyalty; to establish policies for the regulation of Greek organizations; and to enforce policies and to cooperate with College authorities in their efforts to promote high standards of scholastic achievement and social conduct.

The fraternity/sorority advisor assists fraternities and sororities by overseeing IGC and Panhellenic Council, as well as National Order of Omega, the Greek honor society. The advisor to Greek organizations has an office in the MacVittie Union and is a member of the Center for Community/Dean of Students staff.

The fraternity/sorority advisor also provides support and guidance for major Greek programs that occur throughout the year such as recruitment, Greek Week, Geneseo U-Knighting for Change, Anna's Ball, and the Greek Excellence Awards.

The majority of fraternities and sororities rent off-campus houses where members may choose to live.

Organizations administrated by the Office of Fraternal Life.