There was an uproar on Sept. 21 when the University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Department sent out a tweet stating that they would begin posting officers on University Ave. in an attempt to catch jaywalkers. If caught, students face a warning or, for multiple offenses, a fine of at least $150.
This news was unwelcome, as students frequently have as little as five minutes to walk to a class across campus. However, there is a new twist that makes the news even more unsavory — the UWPD is allegedly placing cans of Spotted Cow on roads in order to bait students into jaywalking.
While unconfirmed, several students have pointed out different men in street clothes placing the cans, indicating that the officers are undercover. The alleged officers were described as looking “like low sodium saltine crackers” and “not cool enough to pull off their goatees.”
The strategy is believed to be a way to increase the number of jaywalking charges. The method requires a larger number of officers than tends to be necessary for pedestrian policing, but this only supports the allegation, as the UWPD is known to carry the heavy burden of finding new and inventive ways to be as useless as humanly possible.
So far, the bait has been very successful. As of Sept. 29, about 30% of the student population has received a citation. Consequently, there has also been a record number of students walking around sporting crutches, neck braces and big, bright smiles through missing teeth.
One might wonder why students are not simply taking the cans placed on the same side of the road as the sidewalk they’re on. Following an informal test with staff of The Daily Cardinal, it was concluded that once spotted, the drink causes tunnel vision and an inescapable desire to run towards it.
Dan Carey, co-owner and brewmaster for New Glarus Brewing Co., has released a troubling statement indicating that the UWPD will likely have a difficult time sustaining the practice:
“We [New Glarus Brewing Co.] have been around since 1993. We’ve been here through Rose Bowls, Super Bowls and even an NBA championship. An insane amount of Spotted Cow was sold during those times, but neither our workers nor the supply chain have been able to keep up with UW’s demand in the last week.”
In preparation for the supply inevitably running dry, a secret group of students have been part of a focus group run by the university wherein the participants test other New Glarus beers in order to find the next best thing. One student, who wished to remain anonymous, has told The Daily Cardinal that the lead currently belongs to Two Women because it sounds “nice.”