Student Residence Life: Court Street defies the block party reputation

At my first orientation as an incoming freshman, my student orientation advisor spoke of Court Street in less than endearing terms, going so far as to suggest that it was the most unsafe place in Geneseo. Never having seen Geneseo or the surrounding area before, I could all but imagine some type of fraternity-row area, one part crime and one part hostility towards green newbies like me.

Fast-forward two years and now my very own house is on Court Street. Although any uneasiness I ever had disappeared early on in my college career, I fear even now Court Street gets a bit of a bad rap. It can be an eccentric place, no doubt – especially on weekends – but living here has been nothing but pleasant. That said, prepare to experience some change if you're currently an on-campus student thinking of throwing off the chains (and, admittedly, comforts) of residence hall life.

First, living on Court Street is no different than other off-campus areas in that you might come to hate doing laundry, going grocery shopping or dealing with landlords. I certainly do, but it sure beats waiting for hall washers to free up, eating campus food and having to listen for residence assistants walking the halls every two hours.

Second, most students looking to blow off steam on Thursday, Friday or Saturday nights by partying aren't staying in the dorms or going up to Main Street; they're coming to Court Street. Because of a mix of apartments, Greek and athletic organization houses and misguided freshman thinking open parties can be found here at every other address, weekends get a little crazy.

But don't fret! Despite – and perhaps because of – the increased police presence, parties here aren't actually that wild, are almost never too loud and don't really cross the given house's property line. You might see a lot more intoxicated students walking around than you would on Elm Street, but the fact that weekends are so lively and exciting is more boon than bane.

Third, and again because of its weekend activity, Court Street is host to a lot of strange but story-worthy experiences. Whether it's the nightly singing on the midnight buses to the bars, seeing cops perching behind fences and houses looking for open containers like there's nothing better to do, or even "after-hour" get-togethers that bring together a very diverse, very enjoyable, but very drunk collection of late-night revelers, Court Street has no match in terms of head-scratching but hilarious adventures.

While nightlife here is certainly bustling and hectic, during the week, Court Street is similar to any other off-campus residential streets. The walk to campus is pretty short, the neighbors are just as friendly as the people you lived next to in Onondaga Hall and life goes on just as it does everywhere else. As a place to live, don't discount Court Street just because of the weekends. It's as reasonable and safe a place to call home as anywhere in Geneseo, and I'm glad I do.