Officials at the State University of New York at Cortland are really upset about students divulging into a near riot.
President Erik J. Bitterbaum has now sent out not one, but two statements to the campus community denouncing the thousands of intoxicated students flooded the streets during Cortaca and threw beer cans, teddy bears and garbage in the air while playing real life "Mario Kart."
"As president of SUNY Cortland, I was filled with happiness and pride after our football team’s last-minute victory over Ithaca College this weekend to take the Cortaca Jug for an unprecedented fourth consecutive year," Bitterbaum wrote in his latest message Tuesday. "Those feelings, however, quickly turned to disbelief as I returned to Cortland to find the streets filled with our students behaving in shockingly unacceptable ways."
During the annual celebration known as Cortaca, when SUNY-Cortland and Ithaca play each other in football, an estimated 4,000 to 6,000 people filled the streets in a near riot, requiring several law enforcement agencies to respond. More than 30 people were arrested. The mayhem took place in Cortland, N.Y., even though the game was in Ithaca.
Now Bitterbaum and Cortland Mayor Brian Tobin are taking the step of establishing a commission with "all options ... on the table" about how to make sure students never get that crazy again. The commission will feature the city and university police chiefs, city councilors and a number of SUNY administrators.
One city councilor has already proposed a one year ban on Cortaca.
A university statement said the commission "will seek input and ideas from anyone with constructive thoughts on the situation," and hopes to recommend a "multi-pronged, long-term approach" to stop this sort of behavior by students.
"It is in your interest to work together with us to make sure this kind of ugliness does not publicly define your school," Bitterbaum said. "The recovery begins now."
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