For the past few years, singer Pat McCurdy has been a prominent figure in Madison’s music scene, especially at the Regent Street Retreat.
“He’s been here every Tuesday for at least three years,” said Retreat bartender Cheryl Meister.
Not surprisingly, McCurdy, a Milwaukee native, has formed a loyal fan base at UW-Madison.
“There are usually about 300 to 400 people [at the shows],” Meister said. “About half are here every week.”
Meister says the majority of the fans are students. Some call themselves “PatHeads.”
McCurdy writes his own songs in various styles. Though his style is difficult to classify, he has been called both a comic and entertainer. He has released eight albums.
When most people think of summer in Madison, they think of the Memorial Union Terrace. The Terrace provides live music, beer and brats every weekend from April to September.
But perhaps the most memorable feature of the Terrace is the chairs. About 600 handmade metal chairs and tables are scattered across the Terrace’s two levels.
The attraction to these colorful pieces of furniture is so great that many Terrace patrons steal them.
However, this may not be necessary, as the Wisconsin Union sells the chairs and tables. They cost $189 and $339.95 respectively, and are available in Badger red and Wisconsin white.
The Kollege Klub is a Langdon St. landmark, popular among students and faculty alike.
“It’s a good place to hang out,” said manager Kasey Marty.
It’s hard to find students in the KK at lunch, but they pack the bar at night.
The lunchtime crowd is mainly composed of UW faculty members and alumnae.
The bar has a reputation for being popular with the Greek system, as well as with the underage crowd at times.
It is uncertain whether these reputations attract students to the KK, but most people agree the bar is widely recognized.
“When people come [to Madison], the first place they come is here,” Marty said. “It’s definitely an icon.”
Admissions Brochure Cover
UW admissions officials created a campus embarrassment and gained national attention last fall when they released an admissions brochure with a doctored picture on the cover.
The cover’s photo of a 1993 Rose Bowl crowd scene contained a superimposed image of black student Diallo Shabazz. The image came from a photo taken during the 1994 Wisconsin Welcome Week.
The altered photo was used to create the image of diversity in the UW student body.
Though UW reprinted the cover, using a photo of the popular Memorial Union Terrace chairs, the issue of the university’s lack of diversity remained.
After leading the Badgers to two Rose Bowl wins, UW football coach Barry Alvarez is one the most well-known personalities on campus.
“He’s put together a real top-notch program, and popularity comes with that,” said Justin Doherty, director of sports information.
A raise last year brought Alvarez’s salary to $1 million dollars a year, an increase some people found questionable.
However, the athletic department defends the raise.
“College football coaches appear to be compensated by what the market will bear for their services,” Doherty said. “When you have one of the best coaches in the country, it [a large salary] goes hand in hand.”
Der Rathskeller, or “the Rath” as many call it, is regarded as the gathering pace of UW.
“It’s a place where students, faculty and staff eat, meet and just put their feet up and relax,” said Marc Kennedy, of Wisconsin Union Marketing and Promotion.
It’s also a place to drink. In 1933 the Memorial Union became the first college union to serve beer.
Although it’s legal, few students drink throughout the day.
“State law allows beer sales at 8 a.m.,” Kennedy said. “Technically, if someone has a major beer [craving] at 8 a.m., they can get a beer with their breakfast.”
The Board of Regents v. Southworth
Much attention focused on the Southworth case last year, which questioned whether the UW segregated fee system violated students’ First Amendment rights by forcing them to financially support organizations whose views they may not agree with.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Board of Regents. It stated the fee system was constitutional as long as it operated in a viewpoint-neutral manner.
“The Supreme Court case is considered important in higher education circles because it clarified that universities may compel students to pay fees for the support of speech and expressive activities,” said Patricia Brady, deputy general council of UW system administration.
Now the case holds a legendary First Amendments rights precedent to the extent that it is included in most recent legal textbooks.
Conservative author David Horowitz’s anti-reparations advertisements sparked heated debates and demonstrations on campuses nationwide last year, including several at UW-Madison.
The Badger Herald ran the ad entitled “Ten Reasons Why Reparations for Blacks is a Bad Idea for Blacks — and Racist Too,” as several other student newspapers across the country did.
Up to 100 protesters marched to the Herald’s office, calling the paper a “racist propaganda machine.”
While the issue has calmed since March, the possibility of further protests lingers, as Horowitz is scheduled to speak on campus in November as part of UW’s Distinguished Lecture Series.