Parent Newsletter: September 2017

From the Beautiful Valley: News for SUNY Geneseo Families

A Message from the Dean of Students

This is one of my favorite times on campus. Classes and activities are in full swing, the sunsets from the gazebo are spectacular, and ideas, conversations and possibilities are as crisp as the autumn air.

Autumn on the SUNY Geneseo campus

Best of all, Homecoming and Family Weekend is right around the corner—Sept. 23. If you’ve never attended, now is the time to sign up. And if you’ve been before, you know the weekend provides a festive and fun way to spend time with your student.

And don’t forget to stroll along Main Street to catch the Village of Geneseo’s Fall Festival, which will offer a broad selection of activities. In addition, many of our students and faculty will be performing in the Rochester Fringe Festival on the same day. The lineup of free entertainment will be held at the Lyric Theatre at 440 East Ave. in Rochester, and Geneseo performances will include music, artwork and spoken word.

So, it’s going to be a really busy weekend. We look forward to seeing you.

Please read on for news from Geneseo.

Lenny Sancilio
Dean of Students and Director of the Center for Community


SUNY Geneseo continues to receive national recognition for its academics and programs.

For the seventh time, the College topped the U.S. News & World Report “Best Undergraduate Teaching” rankings among regional universities in the north according to their just-published “Best Colleges 2018” guide.

Washington Monthly magazine has ranked Geneseo first overall on its list of master’s universities for their contributions to the public good.

The Village of Geneseo helped us kick off the new year in great form. Check out this video of the Main Street Bash, held on Aug. 31. Coordinated by Sarah Jane Phillips ‘18, the event helped introduce new students to Geneseo’s Main Street. The video was produced by Sang Wook Nam '18.  

More SUNY Geneseo students will benefit from the renewal of a scholarship program that best-selling author James Patterson created in 2013 at the College’s Ella Cline Shear School of Education.

Homecoming and Family Weekend, Sept. 23

There’s still time to register for Family Weekend. Use the opportunity to catch up with your son or daughter while getting a glimpse of their college life. Have breakfast with President Battles. Take a class. Tour campus. It’s all part of the weekend line-up. It is also Geneseo’s Homecoming Weekend and, in addition to campus festivities, Main Street will be buzzing with activities for the entire family. Weekend highlights include:

A rock-acapella performance by Voiceplay, who will bring their own style of entertainment to campus.The group performed on season 4 of NBC’s “The Sing Off,” where they performed the orchestrated sounds of an entire musical production with nothing but their voices.

The Chicken Wing Fest and Village Fall Festival on Center Street. Get your Wing Fest tickets to gain access to chicken wing tasting and from participating vendors, then vote for the “Best Wings in the Valley.” Alumni, families and students can purchase half-price tickets, while supplies last, when they register for Homecoming/Family Weekend. Other Village Fall Festival activities include the Main Street Pumpkin Hunt and the highly-anticipated Great Pumpkin Race.

Please note that walking around campus can be a bit challenging as we in the midst of an extensive infrastructure improvements project that requires the fencing-off of Sturges quad. For a downloadable pedestrian access maps, visit our “improvement” page.

Register for Homecoming and Family Weekend by this Friday, Sept. 15.

Questions? Email or call the Office of Alumni Relations at (585) 245-5506.

Intercollegiate Athletics

The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation are looking forward to a successful year of athletic competition.

For Parents of Student-Athletes


Student-athletes are required to complete all required NCAA forms and attend a schedule eligibility meeting prior to the start of the season. If your son or daughter is under the age of 18, information will be emailed to you. Please review, sign and return at your earliest convenience *but before the start of their sport’s season.*

Health Insurance:

Check your insurance policy and make sure it covers athletic participation and allows for access to health care that includes out of network (i.e., guest membership for the Geneseo/Rochester area). Geneseo does not assume primary responsibility for any athletically-related medical bills.

For All Parents

Support the Knights

Want to be a super-fan? Join the Roundtable Athletic Association (RAA). Created to provide support for student-athletes, the RAA ensures that Geneseo’s rich, co-curricular experience is coupled with the ability to compete and achieve at the highest level possible. And membership comes with perks! Depending on the level of membership, you will receive a range of benefits, including admission to all home athletic events and hospitality access.

Coming to a game?

General admission tickets are sold for every home athletic event except cross country, outdoor track and field, softball and women’s tennis.

Ticket Prices:

  • Adults, $5.00  
  • Non-SUNY Geneseo Students and Senior Citizens (65 and older), $3.00
  • RAA Badge Holders, SUNY Geneseo Students, Children to age 12, get in free

Can’t make all the games?

Download the Geneseo Knights FRONT ROW app to have the latest news, information and highlights from the Geneseo Intercollegiate Athletic Department at your fingertips. Also, sign up to have final scores from your favorite sports delivered directly to your phone or tablet. The app is available in the Google Play and Apple App Store!

For more information for parents of student-athletes, download these helpful hints.

Questions? Contact Mike Mooney at or Liam Welsh or call (585) 245-5343.

Fraternity and Sorority Life

September begins the fall recruitment or “rush” period for Geneseo’s social fraternities and sororities. Students must be in their second semester at Geneseo with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 to be eligible to participate—First semester freshmen are ineligible. A complete list of recognized fraternities and sororities, as well as policies for and expectations of fraternal organizations, can be found on our website.  

Important Dates:

  • Sept. 16: Bid Day, pledging begins
  • Sept. 17: Hazing education session for all new members
  • Sept. 30: New Member Conference for all new members
  • Oct. 28: All new member activities (pledging) must be completed

Questions about fraternity and sorority life? Email Wendi Kinney, associate dean of students, Fraternal Life and Off-Campus Services or call (585) 245-5968.

Living Off Campus

The office of Off Campus Services will host an Off Campus Living Fair on Thursday, September 21. The fair is an opportunity for students considering a move off campus or who have just recently moved off campus to connect to various businesses, organizations, and services in the Village of Geneseo.

Students can learn about the resources available to them to make the transition off campus as smooth and worry free as possible. The office also provides a wealth of resources such as apartment listings and landlord reviews to assist students and their families in determining if a move off campus is right for them.

Visit our website for more information.

Questions? Email Wendi Kinney, associate dean of students, Fraternal Life and Off-Campus Services or call (585) 245-5968.

“Cultivating Community” Dialogue Series

This fall, we will continue our “Cultivating Community” series, which was launched last year as an initiative to affirm SUNY Geneseo’s value for inclusivity. The series draws on mindful dialogue and creative thinking as the tools through which we can learn, understand, connect and grow.  Each dialogue provides participants the opportunity to voice their experience, learn from others’ perspectives, share innovative ideas and explore new possibilities related to the topic. This semester’s series theme focuses on the question: “In this moment when the world is so divided, what would it mean for Geneseo to be ‘U-Knight-ed’?”

Fall Dialogue Series Dates:

  • 1–2:15 p.m. Monday, Oct. 2
  • 2:30–3:45 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1
  • 2:30–3:45 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29

Questions? Email robbie routenberg, interim chief diversity officer or call (585) 245-5020.

Getting That Job

A well-written resume and cover letter are essential to a successful job search. They should show a potential employer the applicant’s experience and qualifications, so it’s important that a resume makes a great first impression. If your student needs help, they can check out our online guide and visit the Department of Career Development to have their application material reviewed by our career mentors during our drop-in hours, or make an appointment by calling the office at (585) 245-5721.

Career Mentor Hours:

  • 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday, Wednesday and Friday
  • 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday

Upcoming career development events:

Graduate School Fair: 5–7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17, in the College Union Ballroom. Around 80 graduate schools will be represented, with representatives at the ready to answer students' questions about admissions requirements and the application process.

Questions? Send an email, visit the Career Development website or call (585) 245-5721

And be sure to follow us on social media for the latest on career development events.

Hurricane, Disaster Relief Efforts

Livingston CARES—a collaborative effort between SUNY Geneseo groups and organizations, and others in Livingston County—is finalizing plans to bring humanitarian relief and recovery assistance to communities hit hardest by recent hurricanes and other weather-related disasters. Begun in 2005 as a response to Hurricane Katrina's devastation along the Gulf Coast, the organization has continued to assist communities across the country in rebuilding homes and lives.

This year, service trips will include stints in Texas and Florida: Jan. 14–20, March 11–17, and May 13–19. Additionally, Livingston Cares is also raising funds for hurricane relief. For more information, visit the Livingston CARES website.

Service trips will also be offered to assist other communities: three to Brooklyn and one to Biloxi. Interested students can stop by MacVittie College Union Lobby on Friday, Sept. 15, 12– 2 p.m. for more information. Student volunteers from previous service trips will be available to share their stories and provide more information. Other inspirational stories from volunteers will be shared at 2:30–3:30 p.m. through a GOLD workshop: Livingston CARES Day: Stories of Service from Students and Alumni (Diamond).

Questions? Email Tom Matthews, assistant dean of leadership and service, visit the Livingston CARES website, or call (585) 245-5857.

SUNY Geneseo’s Hillel Outreach Initiative

This year, SUNY Geneseo Hillel's will be establishing new initiatives to increase outreach to Geneseo's growing Jewish population. At the start of the semester, Hillel student leaders met with new students over coffee to welcome them to Geneseo and offer connections to campus life. During Parents Weekend, SUNY Geneseo Hillel will host an open house—“Schmooze & Schmear"—and later in the semester, a “Meet the Chef,” with tastings at the on-campus, state-of-the-art kosher dining center. Hillel will also host High Holiday services in collaboration with the University of Rochester and weekly student-led Shabbat services.

Before Rosh Hashanah, students will spend a Saturday afternoon at a local apple orchard to help bring in a “sweet New Year.” Additionally, all are invited to express their artistic creativity by tie-dyeing t-shirts that read "Geneseo" in Hebrew. Hillel has also recently increased efforts to encourage students to register for free Birthright trips to Israel.

To foster understanding and promote diversity, Hillel frequently co-sponsors interfaith events, working with Geneseo faculty and staff from the Muslim Student Association, and local community members from the Central Presbyterian Church. This semester, Hillel, in coordination with faculty, staff and counseling services, will be offering a conversation series to better understand the events of Charlottesville and other recent tragedies.  

Questions? Email Laura Matthews, visit the website or call (585) 245-6452.

Important Dates

  • Sept. 15: Livingston Cares Day
  • Sept. 21: Off Campus Living Fair
  • Sept. 23: Homecoming and Family Weekend
  • Oct. 2: Cultivating Community Dialogue
  • Oct. 9–10: Fall break
  • Oct. 17: Graduate School Fair
  • Nov. 1: Cultivating Community Dialogue
  • Nov. 22–24: Thanksgiving Break
  • Nov. 29: Cultivating Community Dialogue
  • Dec. 11: Last day of classes
  • Dec. 13–19: Final exams
  • Feb. 16–18: Siblings Weekend

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