August 27, 2003

Collegetown Revelers Celebrate Orientation

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Just hours after parents turned their sons and daughters over to Cornell resident advisors on Friday, many freshmen found themselves on the streets of Collegetown celebrating their arrival at college.

Partygoers, the majority of which wandered on College Ave. and Eddy St., were undeterred by the cool night weather and instead focused on one task: securing a beer from the massive throngs of individuals crowding kegs on outdoor student porches.

And, they did meet resistance: this time from Ithaca Police officials, 10 of which were on the scene on Saturday, several more than on Friday night. Approximately the same number of parties were shut down by police on Saturday night, according to an Ithaca Journal report.

Collegetown bars were particularly scrupulous over the weekend when checking identification. One 21-year-old Cornell senior lamented that she was almost turned away from a bar in Collegetown for looking “too young” even though she presented multiple forms of identification.

At the Bear Lodge Bar, located on the 300 block of College Ave., the bouncer carefully examined IDs before letting in any patrons, asking individuals to “smile for the camera” before entering the bar. With police heavily patrolling the area, the risk of a bar raid were particularly high.

Altogether, 36 charges were issued by the Ithaca Police Department (IPD) on both Friday and Saturday nights. Most of them were for rowdy behavior, noise violations, underage possession of alcohol and having open containers of alcohol in public.

Despite the many disturbances, the Orientation weekend party scene was smaller this year than in recent years, according to a few seasoned veterans. “Orientation parties are dirty and obnoxious but at the same time … fun,” Hope Barter ’04 said. “I felt a bit too old to throw myself into the melee again this year, but I quite enjoyed watching from the bars as the freshmen traveled in packs in search of free beer. Welcome to Cornell!”

Allie Goldberg ’04 shared her opinion on the parties.

“I didn’t go out to them but one night. The bars are better. Less jail bait,” she said.

Archived article by Veronika Belenkaya