The UW-Madison Senior Class Officers-elect look forward to fostering an environment where Rathskeller sauce is free flowing, the Humanities building is turned into a skatepark and an escalator is built on Bascom Hill.
Rising seniors Pranav Srivastava and Barnabas Shiferaw were elected as President and Vice President, respectively, for the class of 2021-22 Senior Class Office, receiving 782 votes of the 1,888 completed ballots.
The president and vice president of the Senior Class are traditionally responsible for representing the senior class by planning commencement ceremonies, working with administrators and strengthening ties within the senior class and to UW-Madison.
But, for the 2021-22 academic year, Srivastava and Shiferaw want to channel the lighthearted energy of the notorious Pail and Shovel party. The party, whose representatives were first elected to the Wisconsin Student Association in 1978, was responsible for the first flock of plastic flamingos that were placed on Bascom Hill and the first Statue of Liberty’s head and torch on Lake Mendota.
“They were basically known for taking the campus by storm,” Shiferaw said. “If that meant pranks, absolutely. If that meant just flipping the campus upside down just by doing some crazy ideas, that was what they were about, and that's kind of our idea with the senior class office is to run an unconventional but a very, very exciting year.”
One campus activity that the Pail and Shovel party attempted that Srivastava and Shiferaw would like to emulate is the world’s largest toga party, once it is safe to do so.
“We are excited to continue their legacy by throwing Toga Three in accordance,” Shiferaw said.
“Obviously there's a lot of things we have to check first. The Pail and Shovel strongly believes in science and we are looking through the CDC guidelines before we throw Toga Three, but that is something we plan to do to honor them and to invigorate the campus community.”
Srivastava and Shiferaw also plan to take steps to minimize UW-Madison’s environmental impacts. More specifically, by changing the 80 bus system to a horse and buggy ride.
“Although the 80 is a very cherished tradition, we are strongly considering changing it into a horse and buggy ride,” Shiferaw said. “I think it would be a very, very good step to reduce UW-Madison's carbon footprint, and I think that we could take a strong lead in that movement, especially from the position of the Senior Class Office and leading the University in that way to kind of go green.”
Their other ideas to boost campus morale include placing an escalator on Bascom Hill, the addition of Rathskeller sauce dispensaries throughout campus, flooding Camp Randall to throw a boat party and turning the Humanities building into a skatepark.
“We plan to use the office to bring back the Pail and Shovel party and to really bring about some unconventional ideas to get the students excited again and bring back the fire that people have missed, especially during the time of COVID where it’s been harder to go out and have large campus activities that bring people together,” Shiferaw said.