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This past weekend I passed an important milestone in my career as a Syracuse student; I attended Castle Court for the very first time. In case you don’t know, Castle Court is an apartment complex and parking lot on main campus across from Walnut Park. The parking lot has been the site of many historic Syracuse parties and is a hub of underage drinking, illicit drug use, and student camaraderie and bonding. It’s the most lit place to be on Campus to pre-game for a ‘Cuse game. I was nowhere near prepared for the experience, so I’ve created a guide to help other newbies survive the craziness that is Castle Court.
*Don’t take my word for everything you read here. This guide is based off my personal experience at Castle Court and is not indicative of everyone’s experience at Castle. I will not be held responsible for anyone getting in trouble based on my guide, so follow it with caution, always follow your own judgement or any official rules and laws set in place by the Syracuse Police Department and Campus Police. We do not encourage underage drinking or the use of illegal drugs.
The rules surrounding Castle Court are murky. According to The Daily Orange, Castle Court is governed by Campus Hill (the company that owns the property), Syracuse University, and the Syracuse Police Department. In 2014 after Syracuse was named #1 Party School (which is wildly inaccurate) by the Princeton Review, Campus Hill and Syracuse University officially banned all parking lot parties, aka Castle Court. This year, Syracuse students basically said F that and started partying there anyway. Luckily for us, SPD decided not to stop us from partying there unless there is a major threat to student safety (as if excessive drinking, illicit drug use, and flying beer bottles aren’t threats to student safety, LOL). So technically, we aren’t supposed to party there, but we do, with no consequences really.
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So we can party there, it’s been established, but what can we get away with there you may ask. Well, basically anything. Theres a huge police presence on the outskirts of the parking lot, they actually block the streets off surrounding Castle. The police do not seem to be concerned with monitoring underage drinking, and seem to be more focused on making sure students remain safe. I.e. helping students who might be passed out, making sure fights don’t break out, controlling traffic, stuff like that. I saw students blatantly walking around with open containers (and did this myself, sorry mom) but I didn’t see or hear of anyone getting into trouble for it. However, I did notice there was tape surrounding the actual lot, so I would advise you to drink within those boundaries to avoid getting into trouble with SPD.
The same goes for drug use. I saw blunt after blunt after blunt, and maybe even a bong get passed around. If you want to partake in this type of activity, limit it to the confines of the actual parking lot. Basically don’t be an idiot and do illegal drugs right in front of a cops face. Also, lets keep the crazier drugs like molly and coke to a minimum here. People wanna chill and have fun, not have to worry about their fellow students dying from an overdose.
Public urination is also a thing here, as gross as it is. It would probably be beneficial in the long run for someone to invest in port-a-potties, but until then, it’s acceptable to run up the street a little ways, find a bush or trash can to go behind to do what you need to do.
There’s no official dress code for Castle, but Syracuse Apparel is highly encouraged, especially if it’s game day. Not just any old ‘Cuse T-Shirt will do either, one of the highlights of Castle is seeing who has the cutest ‘Cuse outfit, and people seriously go all out. The current trend for girls seems to be T-Shirts and Crew Necks cut into all sorts of crazy ways, or cut and then laced up, so harness your inner fashion designer and go scissor crazy. For guys, it’s pretty easy, you can get away with wearing just about anything. Melo jerseys seem to be pretty popular.
Castle is technically a pre-game to the bars on Game Day, but you should still pre-game before showing up. If you’re a drinker, don’t show up to Castle and expect to catch up with everyone there in an hour. Pace yourself, get started a little earlier. If you do plan on drinking or doing drugs at Castle, bring your own. Don’t show up thinking it will be provided for you, it won’t. Also, be weary of accepting drugs or alcohol from people you don’t know. People will try to pour shots into your mouth from a communal handle of cheap vodka, but think about how many mouths have touched that bottle. One shot is not worth waking up with mono or a cold sore the next day.
Before you go, know your limits. Please don’t be that person that legit gets Castle shut down for good because you drank 12 shots of Everclear, took 3 Xans and almost died. Not to sound like your mother, but drink responsibly so Castle can be fun for everyone. If you’re wild drunk, don’t hang off a balcony, drink some water, maybe find a spot to sit down. Just know your limits and don’t test them.
No seriously, bring a water bottle or something. Stay hydrated, especially if you’ve been drinking alcohol all day.
Please, if you’re the type to get rowdy, practice meditation or something before you come. We don’t need fights breaking out or bottles being smashed over other people’s heads. Speaking of bottles, maybe we could like, not throw beer bottles and cans into the crowd. I legit saw a half full beer can hit a poor boy in the head, it was sad.
Castle can get crazy, you and your squad will probably get separated at some point. Have a meet up point or make sure your phone is full charged before you leave the house!
One of my fave things to do after Castle is scroll through Instagram and creep on people’s pictures from Castle. Seriously, how do you guys get such great angles when you’re drunk? I’m jealous. Also, if you can afford it invest in a go pro, selfie stick, or drone. Those things pretty much guarantee a poppin’ selfie for IG.
Have fun. Castle is one of those experiences straight out of a movie and we are seriously #blessed as Syracuse students to be able to have Castle. Sometimes Syracuse parties can feel segregated, but Castle brings the whole school together. It’s just a fun way to bond and meet students you might not usually see outside of class. Castle is just lit, trust me on this, I used to go to a super boring school in the middle of nowhere, don’t take what we have at ‘Cuse for granted.