April 21, 2006

Police, Local Officials Plan Slope Day Tactics

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While Cornell students enjoy springtime in Ithaca, a group of local government officials, small-business owners and police officers are working to ensure these students’ safe relaxation.

These community members gave a bullet-point summary of the extensive planning that supports end-of-semester fun at the Collegetown Neighborhood Council meeting yesterday at St. Luke’s Church.

The Cornell University Police Department and Ithaca Police Department’s tactics for managing an estimated 15,000 Cornell students and their guests will change this Slope Day due to the alt-rock style of Ben Folds, which is a sharp contrast to the hip-hop style of Snoop Dogg.

A representative from the CUPD expects a much calmer crowd.

“People may want to pre-party before coming to the slope to make it more exiting,” a CUPD representative said.

She expects a large influx of people from the slope into Collegetown during the change in bands.

“We also hope to deal with the issue of high school students standing along the fence at the top of the slope,” said the CUPD representative.

No one under 18 is allowed on the slope.

Leigh Ulrich, the owner of Ruloff’s, plans to “hire more doormen to keep people who have had too much to drink from coming in.”

Slope Day Programming Board Chairman Jon Bellante gave a short history of Slope Day. This year marks the second Slope Day for which guests must pre-purchase tickets. Previous Slope Day music artists include Kanye West and Fat Joe.

For this Slope Day, according to Bellante, gates will open at noon, Acceptance will take the stage at 1:30, Talib Kweli at 2:45 and Ben Folds around 4:00. Slope Fest will span the entire day.

The focus of the meeting soon shifted from Slope Day to Tompkins County-wide issues as Nathan Shinagawa ’05 (D-District 4), who was sworn in as County Legislator Jan. 3, spoke about what he has done and is planning to do in his term. According to Shinagawa, one of the most direct relationships between Tompkins County and Collegetown is solid waste management, such as recycling.

Shinagawa said that he has been working on reducing the cost of air travel between Ithaca and New York City. He also has been developing internships – some of which pay up to $15 per hour – to get students involved in county government.

Shinagawa’s election platform included the extension of bar closing times until 2 A.M.

According to Shinagawa, a 2 A.M. closing time could “alleviate safety concerns in the Collegetown area but exacerbate them in areas like the South Hill.”

Shinagawa plans to lobby with Cornell Democrats to push back the closing time. Work on extending bar hours is planned to go into full swing in August 2006.

An update on the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association’s Collegetown Clean-up, now also known as the Day of Demeter, was also given at the meeting. The project involves 200 to 300 members of the Greek community. The IFC and PanHel plan to install window flower boxes on the store fronts of four to five Collegetown businesses at no charge. So far, only Classic Optical and Ruloff’s have contacted the IFC or PanHel about this project.

The IFC and PanHel will also plant a tree at the corner of College Ave. and Dryden Road in front of the new apartment building. A plaque will commemorate their efforts to beautify Collegetown.

Sun Fest, a festival with barbeque and carnival games sponsored by Campus Life, will also be held May 7.

The Collegetown Neighborhood Council will meet again during May 11.

Archived article by By Jessica DiNapoli
Sun Staff Writer