Not the most pleasant description of my old hood (from the Cornell Sun):
Collegetown: 'A Really Disgusting and Uninviting Scene’
August 21, 2012
By Jeff Stein
Broken beer bottles line the streets like confetti. Garbage becomes indistinguishable from the sidewalk surrounding it. And a porch collapses on itself in the middle of a party.
Thousands of students returned to Collegetown this weekend, transforming the idyllic serenity of an Ithaca summer into a hotbed of drunken mayhem. And while this picture may offer a comforting familiarity for students returning to old stomping grounds and cherished friends, for others — namely, the hundreds of Ithacans who call Collegetown their home year-round — the scarcely tamed debauchery represents something different entirely.
Take, for instance, Common Council member Graham Kerslick (D-4th Ward), a 58 year old who lives at Orchard Place, in the heart of Collegetown. Kerslick wrote to Cornell officials on Monday to lament the “appalling state” of his neighborhood.
“Many streets, including College Ave., Cook St. and Catherine St., were covered with plastic cups, beer cans, broken glass and other garbage,” Kerslick said. “In many years of residence in the area, I don’t recall such widespread and blatant disregard for the community."
He added: "If they can throw a ping-pong ball in a plastic cup, why can't they throw a cup in a garbage can?”
Kerslick’s frustrations were widely echoed by other permanent residents of the area.
“This is one of the worst starts to the semester I’ve seen,” Common Council member Ellen McCollister ’78 (D-3rd Ward) said in an interview with The Sun Monday. “It’s not just the crowds but the constant beer pong games, the cups, the litter everywhere, the shouting, hooting, hollering — it’s a really disgusting and uninviting scene when Cornell is supposed to be the cream of the crop.”
McCollister added that the severity of the problem of binge drinking has been “ratcheting up over the years.”
“Maybe it’s a sense of entitlement? It does seem to be a generational shift,” McCollister said. She acknowledged, however, that Collegetown living arrangements can be substandard and stressed that no one party was to blame for Collegetown’s current state.
“We have to get away from finger-pointing ... this is community building we need to do together. We have a real opportunity to make Collegetown a much better place for all of us,” McCollister said. “So it was very discouraging to get such a bad start.”
The Ithaca Police Department’s daily activity log illustrates her point.
On Friday, police broke up a party in Collegetown at about 11:30 p.m. Five minutes later, police responded to a complaint from a caller unable to get out of her parking spot “due to a large gathering of college age subjects.” Officers dispersed the crowd of about 70 before responding to at least three additional noise complaints, four reports of alcohol overdoses and nearly a dozen open container violations — all in Collegetown.
As more students returned on Saturday, the list of Collegetown infractions appeared to continue unabated, although exact figures are unknown. Shortly after midnight, officers responded to reports of a highly intoxicated female at Collegetown Bagels. Another intoxicated female was hospitalized on Dryden Road at 1 a.m. Police responded to a report of a third intoxicated female whose two male friends were trying, apparently in vain, to get her home.
There was also one male individual who police saw jumping up and down on a vehicle at the intersection of Eddy Street and Dryden Road. “Through further investigation, said vehicle was found to be friend’s who did not want to pursue charges,” the police report notes.
Cornell administrators have made a concerted effort to reduce binge drinking across campus. The University announced at a conference in January that it aims to achieve a 25-percent reduction in the rate of binge drinking. According to a report cited by the University, 61 percent of first-year students involved in the Greek system engage in high-risk drinking.
Eric Silverberg ’14, a member of the Collegetown Neighborhood Council, said for that sort of change to occur, students must change their habits.
“The only way to resolve this issue is that students need to take responsibility,” Silverberg said.
Ed Mosley, who works at Joyce’s Cleaning Service and spends his days cleaning up the aftermath of Collegetown parties, said business has never been better.
“You can’t even fathom the parties we’ve seen,” Mosley said, citing one incident in which the stickiness of the floor led him to inadvertently step out of his shoes. He also said that when students know a cleaning service is coming, they often simply throw a towel over a pool of vomit rather than cleaning it up — leaving the hard work for others.
Mosely added that his cleaning service has stopped giving its rates out over the phone — waiting to survey the scope of the destruction before deciding upon a fair price.
“Sometimes you see two kegs of beer that are sitting there making a pool. You go in there to sweep but the tobacco from the blunt is still sticking to the floor because of the liquor that is spilt there,” Mosley said. “You couldn’t use an ashtray or a garbage [can]?”
Liz Camuti and Jonathan Dawson contributed reporting to this article.
Here's the link: