A relationship born of resentment and disturbance has now become a catalyst for change on Court Street.
Plattsburgh resident and Hummingbird Home bed-and-breakfast owner Jason Sacks had been frustrated and saddened by next-door fraternity Chi Phi because of excessive noise, damage to property and overall inconsideration from the brothers and party guests. He said the B&B has been on the market for almost a year now because Sacks and his husband couldn’t stand the treatment by the students.
He also provided NBC5 with a video of Chi Phi creating a massive disturbance by throwing furniture of their second-floor balcony last year.
“Over the last three and a half years, we felt very targeted by the [SUNY Plattsburgh] student population,” Sacks said. “We [Sacks and his husband] felt very welcomed here.”
Sacks’ husband wrote a letter to the new brothers of Chi Phi asking if they could be more considerate of their property. He asked that they stop yelling and unnecessarily honking their horns in the driveway. After receiving it, Chi Phi President Micheal Castro paid Hummingbird Home a visit to try to make amends. After two successful meetings, Chi Phi and Hummingbird Home had finally come to an understanding.
“It’s like a lightbulb had finally lit up,” Sacks said. “Not only is Chi Phi our friends, they are our protectors.”
Chi Phi brothers now make sure students respect Sacks’ property by keeping them out of his driveway and off his lawn. Castro and Chi Phi Vice President Jonathan Mccarchy said they wanted a fresh start for themselves and the new brothers living in the Chi Phi house.
“I hated [the war we had with Hummingbird Home],” Castro said. “That wasn’t what I wanted for Chi Phi.”
Sack’s husband sent him an extensive email describing “all the reasons they hated Chi Phi” at the start of the semester according to Castro. He reached out soon after to apologize and create a new bond with Sacks and Hummingbird Home. Castro said he comes from a town where he’s friends with all his neighbors and wanted the same relationship with residents of Court Street.
“[Chi Phi] cares about our relationship with Hummingbird Home,” Castro said. “the same goes for the rest of the community.”
The new relationship with Chi Phi has opened Sacks to reachout to the student body. He said he wants the same kind of friendship with SUNY Plattsburgh students and is considering to open his B&B to student housing.
Sacks and Chi Phi are hosting a “Cancer is a Drag” fundraiser to benefit cancer patients Nov. 1. The event will be a Halloween celebration for community members to eat and socialise. Sacks is happy about the new friends he and Hummingbird home has made and wants to expand as much as he can.
“We don’t want to live in the past,” Sacks said. “We want to take this opportunity and run with it.”