University of Wisconsin freshman Cade Peregoy drew thousands of fans’ eyes as he stripped off his shirt and ran across Camp Randall during Saturday’s football game.
Peregoy, a Wisconsin native studying landscape architecture, told The Badger Herald his side of the story about that game day. This interview has been edited for clarity and style.
Can you tell me about yourself?
I’m not too much of a partier I guess, compared to people on my floor at Witte where I live. I think I would describe myself as just below average in socializing. But I am usually very loud and hyper, I just don’t really like going out on weekends. The game was one of the exceptions.
This game, because it was over Thanksgiving break, we called a bunch of our friends who were going to come down to McFarland over the break and encouraged them to buy tickets to the game. That probably kicked up the drinking and socializing for me for that day.
What happened on Saturday?
I went to get food and about midway I decided I didn’t want to get food and I couldn’t find my friends and where I was sitting earlier, so they said to move up to one of the front rows. At this point my memory gets foggy. I’m guessing it’s from an adrenaline rush blur because I didn’t honestly drink too much.
And then I was encouraged more or less. I’m told that I jumped over the railing where the players come out, adjacent to where the band is. Until I got tackled I don’t remember a thing, that’s what I’m assuming is just an adrenaline rush blur but after I got tackled I remember everything else crystal clear.
Did you go into the event planning to enter the field?
No, absolutely not.
Were you trying to streak?
I wasn’t trying to take my pants off at all, I know that. I took off my shirt because the crowd was going crazy so I guess I wanted them to go even crazier. But, I would never take off my pants. I gave my shoes to one of the guys I was talking to before I jumped over the railing because I said I would run faster, that’s what he told me.
I also want to say that the University of Wisconsin Police Department and some of the city police that were there were fantastic. I cooperated 100 percent and they knew I was having a good time, and they weren’t harsh.
Did your friends or the people around you encourage you to get on the field or try to stop you?
After I got separated from my friends, I went to the front row. I was half on a bleacher and half on an aisle, so I was getting a lot of unwanted attention. I believe those were the people that were encouraging me to do it.
Looking back, how do you feel about your decision to streak?
I feel regret because I think the university may try to have a statement punishment. If they punish me too lightly, then people may say they didn’t do anything and influence others to maybe streak or be rebellious. That’s what I fear.
I regret doing it also because I read articles that another student was arrested in the stands and they believe he was trying to streak as well. He took his shirt off but he got detained before even attempting to jump. I regret that I was the one that influenced others.
What are you taking away from the experience?
I’m really trying to focus on school more. As a freshman, I believe the transition from high school to college — even from summer to college — is very difficult and I’m in Witte and it’s a more social dorm than others. In Witte, socializing is kind of forced because people play music and everyone can hear it, people scream and you can hear it. It’s really easy to get attention in Witte. In general, that’s true among all dorms. It’s pretty crazy to have mostly freshman living independently for the first time, it makes an atmosphere perfect for bad choices.
Do you think people are pressured into partying and making decisions they otherwise wouldn’t when living in a social dorm like Witte?
Yes, absolutely. For a few months now I’ve been trying to move out of Witte because I had a seizure in art class from sleep deprivation, and sleep is almost impossible to get in a dorm. So that’s a medical reason, I had to move out.
I’m trying to ignore the attention I’m getting from what I did but at the same time be friendly to the people putting the attention on me. It’s a lot to handle; it’s a bit stressful. It’s also nerve-wracking because I still have to meet with the dean.