Life Off-Campus

When you rent housing, you are entering into a contract with more people than just your landlord; you are entering into a social contract with your neighbors. Antagonism with those living nearby can be time-consuming and a source of aggravation for all concerned. Considerate and courteous behavior can lead you into neighborhood friendships that will expand your sphere of experience and enrich your stay in Ithaca. 

Make an effort to meet your neighbors, especially if they are not students. Establishing a pleasant relationship early will help to avoid friction in the future. There's no more secure feeling than knowing you have a neighbor to help you if you've got a problem. Most neighbors are glad to help and sometimes even need help themselves. Living in the neighborhoods surrounding Ithaca College is an experience that you will remember your entire life. Remember to be a good neighbor and your stay in the community will be an enriching one. 

Community Expectations

As residents of the Ithaca community beyond the campus, concerns will sometimes arise where the family/career life-styles of neighbors will be in conflict with student behavior.

The Alcoholic Beverage Control Law of the State of New York prohibits the purchase and/or attempted purchase of alcoholic beverages through fraudulent means by any person under the age of 21. Violations are punishable by a fine of up to $100 and 30 hours of community service. 
The ABC law also prohibits possession of an alcoholic beverage with the intent to consume by persons under the age of 21. The only exceptions are if a person is consuming alcohol in a licensed or registered educational activity and/or the person was given the alcohol by a parent or guardian. Violations are punishable by a fine up to $50. 

Also prohibited is public urination or defecation. For the purposes of this ordinance, a public place is any place to which the public or substantial groups of persons have access. This includes but is not limited to public areas as defined, but includes hallways, lobbies, and other parts of apartment houses or hotels not constituting rooms of actual residents. Violations are punishable by a fine up to $250 and 15 days in jail. 

It is unlawful for anyone in the City of Ithaca or in either any Residential Zone or within 500 feet of a Residential Zone in the Town of Ithaca to operate a radio/receiving set, musical instrument, television, any other machine or device for producing/reproducing sound or any other sound-amplifying equipment such that it can be heard or disrupts conversations of members of the public at a distance of 25 or more feet from the source of the sound. 

Additionally, no one in charge of hosting a party or other social or fundraising event on either private or public property can allow the noise to extend beyond 25 or more feet from the source of the sound. If beer is being served from a keg, the person to whom the keg is registered will be held responsible for the violation in addition to persons who own, live in or on the premises involved. 
In the city, a special noise permit is required at any event at which sound-amplifying equipment will be operated and heard outside of a building or vehicle after 10:00 p.m. or before 7:30 a.m. The permit application must be submitted 72 hours in advance of the event. In the town, a permit application must be filed with the Town Clerk no less than 45 days before the event. 
Violations of any part of the noise ordinance for the City or Town of Ithaca are punishable by a fine of up to $500 or not more than 15 days in jail, or both. In addition, the city may also impose 100 community service hours or some combination of the three. A second offense for the Town of Ithaca is punishable by a fine of up to $1000; a second offense for the City of Ithaca is punishable by a fine of up to $750.

Common Sense Safety Precautions

  • Keep outside doors locked even when at home. 
  • Lock your windows when you are not home. 
  • Don't advertise your schedule (e.g., leave a note on the door as to when you will return). 
  • Pull shades or drapes after dark. 
  • Leave some lights on when you are gone. 
  • Be sure valuables are permanently marked with an identifying number (not your SSN), and record all serial numbers. 
  • Look outside before opening your door. 
  • Never let strangers in the door. If it is a repair or service representative, call the property owner or company to ensure they are supposed to be there. Always insist on proper identification!
  • Do not allow a stranger to spend the night no matter how sad the story. 
  • Have key in hand as you approach your door. 
  • Don't leave a valuable (e.g., iPhone, notebook PC, purse) where it can be seen through a window. 
  • Get to know your neighbors. If you look out for them, they'll look out for you. 
  • Get renter's insurance if you are not covered under your parents' homeowner's policy. Personal furnishings are not covered by a landlord's insurance!