The familiar sight of bodies cascading down Bascom Hill has finally made its return to the Madison campus. In-person instruction, a highly anticipated quality for any Big Ten institution, has drastically improved the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s academic, communal, and visual appeal. Students find themselves relieved and more motivated than ever to tackle the fall semester. However, this recent surge in ambition has coincidently resulted in shoulder to shoulder madness at the Nicholas Recreation Center.
Wet surgical masks, broad shoulders and ass puddles are all that comprise the once strictly regulated facility. The student lineup is so deep in fact that the entirety of the five-level compound is often completely in use. Three-person lines for some obscure muscle group machine are a common occurrence.
Administrative figures within “the Nick” have proposed a solution that would not only reduce the dense population, but contribute to the University's bottom line. This proposal aims to turn the rec center into a campus nightclub.
By following the business model of Whiskeys on a Saturday, the unregulated flow of sugary alcohol is expected to make standing in a pool of sweaty strangers somewhat bearable. Students will no longer have to endure the sounds of inhaling fabric as the speakers will be blaring music on an oddly stagnated time schedule. However, due to cultural concerns, the only two songs approved by UW were “Jump Around” and “Sweet Caroline”.
The financial considerations seem to check out as well. Charging a $10 Wiscard cover for entry, the janitorial staff-turned-bouncers can easily regulate and profit from the influx of underage freshmen. Dividends from the cover charge will be compounded with basketball court rentals, floor access passes and cash from the Power House Bar. There are even rumors that a group of engineering graduate students are designing a pay-to-pump dumbbell rack for their thesis project.
As the proposal remains in deliberation, the potential for a campus-backed nightclub seems possible. It presents an innovative revenue stream for the university that fosters a sense of exclusivity and fun — not a far cry from the brazen robbery that occurs on State Street. In the meantime, students will continue to enjoy the Nick for what it is: a place to collectively stare in the mirror with a large group of people.