trials and tribulations of a ‘cuse trip

by catherinefauver

This weekend, I dove to the front lines of investigative journalism to deliver water tower readers a scoop unlike any other. Yes, on a Friday afternoon I hauled ass for 5 hours in Santana (the 2004 Nissan sentra of my dreams) from Burlington to the gem of upstate New York: Syracuse. Carrying only my razor sharp wit and the journalistic integrity of a Cynic writer with 3 adderalls in their system, I embarked on a mission to capture the true spirit of the 22,000 bright-eyed Syracuse students. And boy do I have a report to deliver.

The first thing you need to know about Syracuse is that the police do NOT give a single fuck. Walking around on & off campus, you’ll see the most obtrusive displays of underage shenanigans possible, but where are the police? Certainly not shuffling up to the doors of house shows to deliver an “erm.. you have to pay $300 a resident champ.” No, the little piggies stay in their houses which may explain the prevalence of glo- rious, strobe-light ridden frats and houses. The 80K tuition may also explain why they’re so hesitant to break up parties, but what can you say! At least they have free mimosa stations.


The beginning of a Syracuse night out is all too familiar to a Vermont girlie– the pilgrimage up a 45 degree hill. The streams of people are so dense that if one were to drunkenly tumble, the entire student population would end up dominoing down Walnut Avenue. But if you can bear to make it up the hill, you can start by attending a house show at one of many titled venues!

That’s right, instead of interchangeable basements, Syracuse has “red gate,” which has a bordering-on- appropriative torii (look it up, you’ll see) over its entrance walkway. And you really do feel like you’re entering the spirit world when you have to handle the mosh pit they call basement stairs. There was also “the garden.” No, not the post-punk clown band. If red gate was the Harry Styles of house show venues, the garden would be the Steve Lacy. A little cooler, a little more exclusive. And they played some Fleetwood Mac covers that had drunk me ascending to another plane of existence. One thing the house shows at Syracuse did teach me was that yes, overalls with no shirt underneath is the sluttiest thing a man can wear. Keep doing you, overall men.

The frats deserve an entire article on their own. Game day darties and the raised-platform mania that went down in the frat houses had me walking away with the idea that at least 30% of Syracuse frat men must self-identify as “to the right of the political compass.” Psi upsilon, which I had the joy of attending on Friday night, had a dystopian pit of women in the center of the room with raised platforms on each side. Lining the pit were innumerable frat men scouring it, and when they spotted their target, I would watch as they beelined through the crowd to their prey. It was so bizarre that I’d need Margaret Atwood to break it down for me (oh wait she’s not coming to UVM anymore!). I was lucky enough to experience game day darties as well (if you’re wondering, no. I did not go to the game), which is about the worst case scenario for someone whose ick is school spirit. These left me wondering “what does one do once they get to the roof of a frat, just sit there?” and “what would my mom think if she saw me shaking my ass on this raised platform in the phi delt tent?” All around, a wholesome experience.

Syracuse was the most college college I have ever been to, and I miss it already. The 5 hour drive back on Sunday was easily the most hungover drive I’ve had the pleasure of doing, but I’d do it all again just to gorilla glue a bunch of red solo cups and a redbull together with my high school pals at a party. Go to Syracuse if you would like to roll an orange, because everyone was really trying to get me to do that for some reason.

Categories: bemmy, Catherine Fauver, oct 11, trash

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