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The Telegram
  • Report: Social media, bars fueled street riot

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  • CORTLAND (AP) — A commission formed in the aftermath of the drunken riot in Cortland after a college football game last fall places part of the blame on social media fueling rowdy behavior and local bars promoting binge drinking.
    The 82-page report released June 1 by the College and Community Commission looked at the causes of the street riot in Cortland on Nov. 15, the day the State University of New York at Cortland played nearby archrival Ithaca College in the annual Cortaca Jug game.
    Police arrested 80 people, including 19 SUNY Cortland students, after hundreds of people spilled into a Cortland street lined with houses rented by students hosting parties. Two cars were overturned, furniture was thrown out windows and beer bottles were tossed at police trying to control the crowds. Cortland police had to call other police agencies for help once the situation got out of hand.
    Officials said many of the partiers didn't attend the game, which was played in Ithaca and won by Cortland, 28-24.
    Images of the riot were posted on social media. The commission's report said some Twitter feeds encouraged college students to post photos of drunken behavior "for bragging rights" and taverns that opened at 8 a.m. that day encouraged heavy drinking through social media.
    Among the commission's recommendations: Educate students on the consequences of binge drinking and problem behavior, get bars to open later and discourage binge drinking, increase law enforcement patrols during Cortaca weekend and enlist students to send positive social media messages that discourage negative behavior.
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