It’s Spring: Let’s Celebrate Responsibly

The weather is warm, the snow is gone, and summer is on the horizon. As Badgers everywhere finally emerge from the long winter, spring celebrations will be taking place all around campus. Some of these will involve alcohol.

Most Badgers who drink do so moderately, according to data from University Health Services (UHS), and some don’t drink at all. Remember, there’s plenty of fun, substance-free ways to spend your weekend. Here’s just a few:

Hike out to Picnic Point

In the spring and summer, Picnic Point, the mile-long peninsula on Lake Mendota’s south shore, is one of the most beautiful spots on campus. Hike or bike along the Lakeshore Path or Park Street to get there, and enjoy the various trails leading out to the tip. Once you’re there, it’ll be hard to leave the peaceful lookout on Lake Mendota.

Stop by the Henry Vilas Zoo

It’s easy to take for granted, but the Henry Vilas Zoo is one of only a handful of free admission, community-supported zoos in the country. If you’ve never been there, or haven’t been there in a while, it’s a great way to spend the weekend.


Catch a movie at The Marquee Cinema

The Marquee Cinema at Union South shows all kinds of movies: new, old, and sometimes even advanced showings before release. This weekend they’re showing Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse, Oldboy, and free advanced screenings of Long Shot, Booksmart, and Good Boys. Check out the full schedule of showings here.

Chill out at the Terrace

The Terrace officially opened on April 18, signifying the true start of spring for many Badgers. It’s a great place to connect with friends, eat brats or ice cream by the lake, and take a moment to relax. With finals season approaching, the Terrace makes a perfect spot to study. Join the Wisconsin Union for events and activities.

Find fresh treats at the Farmers Market

The Dane County Farmers Market has returned for the season. Every Saturday until November, you can stop by Saturday on the Square, located on the grounds surrounding the Capitol Building. Get high-quality meats, flowers, cheese, bakery, and plants straight from the producers.

There are always many activities happening around campus. Check out for the full calendar of events.    

If you do choose to drink, be sure to use common sense.

  • Practice moderation. Set a limit for yourself so you know when to stop. Avoid drinking quickly or chugging, as this can cause you to consume more than you intended.
  • Always eat before you drink. Without food in your stomach, alcohol absorbs into your bloodstream dangerously quickly. This can lead to unintended consequences like food poisoning.
  • Plan to be with at least one friend. This will allow you to have someone at your side in the case of an emergency. Badgers look out for one another.
  • Remember your friends at SAFEwalk, a service that provides walking escorts throughout the campus. Students work in two-person escort teams to respond to requests for walks, watch for suspicious situations around campus, and answer transportation/safety-related questions. Call or text 262-5000.
  • Never accept a drink from a stranger, and never leave your drink unattended.
  • Stay hydrated; keep a water bottle with you and refill it with water frequently.

Also, be sure to read Chief Koval’s blog post about the upcoming 2019 Mifflin Street event.

Admittedly old school, my parents taught me that it was not appropriate to bring up certain subjects in polite company – – – religion, politics, and sex. As Chief, I would expand the platform of taboo subjects to include never mentioning, acknowledging, or sanctioning the dreaded “M-word” (Mifflin Street) 🙁 In spite of my perpetual novena begging the good Lord above to remove this thorn from my side, Mifflin continues to be the cross that the MPD and the taxpayers continue to bear.

While I am fiercely protective of our officers and their working conditions, I must confess that I hope the weather forecast scheduled for this coming Saturday is as bleak (and hopefully worse) as the meteorologists are predicting. Mifflin is upon us and MPD, working collaboratively with many other City agencies, is bracing ourselves for yet another edition of this annual rite of passage, known famously for the levels of drinking and debauchery that occur. (By way of a fiscal note, when you look over the past 5 years of tracking our expenses to safely deal with Mifflin, the average dollar amount is $102,654!).

But Mifflin is coming despite my prayers and protestations. I have included some instructional information in the blog to help folks better navigate the downtown area during this “event.” Read the full post.