Police break up student party of 250; SUNY to stay online only

City police broke up a student house party Friday night with 250 guests on 38 Lincoln Ave./FILE PHOTO



City police broke up three large student house parties Friday, including one attended by 250 revelers, as students spurned COVID 19 precautions and SUNY Cortland readied to announce there would be no return to in-person classes.

SUNY Cortland President Eric Bitterbaum told students in an email this afternoon that there will be no return to in-person classes for the rest of the semester. However, students may stay on campus if they wish until the previously scheduled move-out period from Nov. 20 to Nov. 23, according to Bitterbaum’s email.

All students — living on- or off-campus — who have been on campus for any reason this semester must submit a negative COVID-19 test result to SUNY Cortland before they can return to their hometowns, according to the college’s departure plan.

It is unclear under the plan what the consequence would be if students left without receiving a negative test. SUNY Cortland spokesman Fred Pierce could not be reached Monday afternoon for comment.


The largest Halloween party city police shutdown Friday night was at 38 Lincoln Ave., said Lt. Michael Strangeway.

“The party they broke up had about 250 people at it,” Strangeway said, adding police crashed parties at 2 Park St. and 137 Groton Ave. as well.

With the assistance of the University Police Department, the name of nearly every person at the Lincoln Avenue extravaganza was recorded and the names of college students were sent to SUNY Cortland, Strangeway said.

Some high school students were also at the parties where alcohol was being served, he said.

“There were reportedly some high school students at these parties,” Strangeway said.

No arrests were made at the parties, but a total of five noise violation tickets were written, he said.

In an email sent to students on Saturday, Bitterbaum chastised students for not respecting the college’s requirement that students not party for their own health and academic success, as well as for the health of the community.