The UW anthem doesn't represent campus

The class clown; not the cool one that has the good jokes or even the one that does stupid stuff that makes everyone laugh. No, I speak of the sub-variety of this personality that sits in the back of the class and has a comment for everything. Someone you want to tell to take a long walk off a short pier, but you know they thrive on any attention. So, you are forced to grind your teeth, smile, and watch as the second hand crawls across the clock face, leisurely strolling towards your freedom.

I am not saying that this individual is this man. I am sure he is a stand-up gentleman that has his life together and is going to do great things. This I applaud, and say to you that this is not about you personally. It is about what you have made, and how your brainchild has become “that kid” in the back of the class.

I know that calling this out will only make more people watch the video. Some of the things I have to say may even anger some people. I am willing to risk the mob because something must be said, and the comment section on the Youtube video is disabled, so I was left no choice but to wage my war in the light.

The video of which I speak is “If You’re a Badger (University of Wisconsin Anthem).” This video was posted on Sept. 30, 2015, and has since gathered 13,735 likes, to my knowledge. Yes, I could have let sleeping dogs lie, but such affronts to how I see my school needed to be addressed, and thoroughly so.

To start, why in the name of all that is good would you turn “Varsity” into a back beat and part of a hook for a song? Is nothing sacred anymore? When I sing that song, I want it to be as it is, with friends on either side, remembering the good times that have been, not helping sing about debauchery and supporting sub-par rhymes.

I will admit the song gets stuck in your head; it’s a real ear worm. Congrats, but ticks get stuck in you too and I think, after a couple listens, ticks are what I prefer.

I will be the first to come out and say I can’t sing, and my rhyming isn’t all that good, so I am by no means saying I could do better. At least I have the decency, though, not to force it on other people. Much like those awful “American Idol” tryouts we see, the sad fact is more than one person had to think this was actually a good idea.

Aside from the generic beat and rhymes that might make even a preschooler flinch, truly what has me riled up is the message. I can remember when I first received my letter of acceptance here, my top choice of schools, I was euphoric. As the son of two graduates, I was born a Badger, I will die a Badger.

I love this school as much as anyone, but one of the things that really pissed me off was when I told people where I was going they would smirk and mention the notorious reputation for partying that is associated with UW-Madison. Not that this school is ranked 13th in the nation in public institutions and 47th in the world overall, or that we have some of the top programs respectively in the world. No, all of this seems to not quite make the cut in the video. In fact, the only mention of our brainpower as Badgers, in general, is the line “Big drinkers, even bigger thinkers.”

Excuse me while I go vomit.

The more I view this video, the more I am desperately searching for redeeming qualities. At least, if nothing else, there are some major landmarks shown that our school can take pride in, although I don’t know if I would even show someone this on mute, let alone with the sound on.

There is virtually no mention of actual campus besides a quick shot of Humanities, some cuts on Bascom and a mention of North Hall (one of our oldest campus buildings) which is immediately tarnished by using it in the lyric “We go to class in North Hall/ but we partying in the hall of fame.”

At least the video plays into the stereotype it is obviously trying to represent: longboarding down Langdon with snapbacks and girls walking around in scantily clad clothing. It is exactly that stereotype that gives the hardworking community that doesn’t show up drunk to midterms or “replace pre-labs with pregames” a bad name. I don’t mind what anyone else does on their own time. I just wish I didn’t have to stand under their umbrella generalizations. Next time, the rest of us will represent ourselves, thanks.

Eli is a senior majoring in general engineering. Have you seen the “If You’re a Badger (University of Wisconsin Anthem)” music video? Do you agree with Eli’s claims that the music video doesn’t accurately represent the population of the UW campus? Do you disagree with his views? If so, what would you change? Please send all comments, questions and concerns to

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