Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


The Editorial Board’s fall 2015 headliners

Most award worthy events of the semester that was
Flickr user Richard Hurd

Striving to be a voice for students at University of Wisconsin, The Badger Herald Editorial Board attempts to capture it and direct it at on-going issues in the state, city and campus. In reviewing the past semester, we decided to hand out a few awards.

A little biased? Maybe about snowball fights. A little rude? Sure, sometimes. But nonetheless, these moments from this past semester are the most award worthy of them all.

The You Got Trumped Award

It was a hot day in July when a sweaty, but determined Gov. Scott Walker announced his long-awaited presidential campaign in front of thousands of cheering supporters.


Spouting firm words and unwavering confidence, you could tell Walker had already packed his signature brown bag lunch — complete with a ham and cheese sandwich — for the White House.

A mere 70 days later, facing a steep drop in poll numbers and growing money problems, a dejected Walker became the second candidate to drop out of an unusually crowded race for the Republican nomination.

Free from the burdens of traversing the national stage and trying to woo his star-crossed lovers, the Koch brothers, Walker returned to his day job — as Wisconsin’s governor.

But Walker’s return to the state he once held political dominance over (three elections in four years, as he constantly reminds us) has been less than triumphant. Annoyed they had to share God’s gift to conservatism with the nation, Wisconsin Republicans have yet to flock back to Walker.                                 

Whether this is a temporary political time-out for bad behavior or an actual threat to his chances for re-election in 2018 remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure: For better or worse, Walker will be in office full-time for the remainder of his term.

For a presidential campaign with less staying power and shorter than Kim Kardashian’s second marriage, we present Walker with the You Got Trumped Award.

The Song That Never Ends Award

Madison has been trying to replace the aging, ugly and sometimes dangerous Government East parking structure with … something … for the better part of a decade. Recently, the City Council supported a bid to develop the area as part hotel for Monona Terrace, and part office building anchored by Madison tech firm Exact Sciences. While the proposal was certainly not universally loved, it was refreshing to see action finally occurring for the space where eight separate proposals have gained traction since 2009.

But with Exact Sciences faltering, the deal fell through and the Madison Board of Estimates voted to go back to square one and accept new proposals. Congratulations, Madison, we’re partying like it’s 2008 again.

Hopefully, Madison-based Urban Land Interests continues to show interest in the process it was shunted from earlier this year in favor of the Exact Sciences solution. The city has asked ULI, along with the other developers who submitted proposals to update their entries by Jan. 19, for consideration along with any other new proposals that may come along.

In a city famous for its historic trend of hyper-democracy and an exhaustively slow political process, it’s disheartening to see a proposal so far along fail near the finish line. Since the city has sung this refrain many times, here’s to hoping that we can finally stop singing this song and replace the eyesore behind the City Municipal Building.

For this annoyingly long and repetitive process, we award Judge Doyle Square and the Government East Parking Structure the Song That Never Ends Award.

The Shoot Yourself in the Foot Award

As mass shootings around the country continue, Rep. Jesse Kremer, R-Kewaskum, and Sen. Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, decided injecting more guns into public college campuses is the obvious solution.

Should the proposal move forward, guns would be allowed in classrooms, dorms and stadiums. Kremer’s argument is that if a mass shooting were to occur, the “good guys” with guns would be able to intervene.

You know, because these situations are not chaotic at all and it’ll be so easy to identify who the “bad guys” are and there’s no risk of collateral damage.

Never mind that all of the UW System’s police chiefs signed a letter opposing Kremer’s proposal, or that faculty and large parts of the student body have been vocally against it.  

We’re all for the Second Amendment and every citizen’s right to bear arms, but it’s time to face the reality that our nation has a gun violence epidemic. Instead of focusing on legislation that would put more guns in “good guys’” hands, we should focus on legislation and implementing barriers that would keep guns out of the “bad guys’” hands.

We shouldn’t even have to waste time and resources debating proposals like this. No student should fear for their safety on campus — be it while they’re in class, hanging out in the dorms or cheering on the Badgers in Camp Randall.

UW Chancellor Rebecca Blank has come out against the proposal, and hopes to mobilize parents. But Blank shouldn’t hold her breath that parents concerned for the safety of their children will have any effect on legislators, and she certainly needs a back-up plan.

If Newtown parents who lost elementary school-aged children to a mass shooting couldn’t mobilize Congress to pass common sense legislation, there’s little reason to believe mobilizing college students’ parents will.

For this senseless and harmful proposal, we award the Shoot Yourself in the Foot Award to Kremer and LeMahieu.

The Tunnel Vision Award

The Board of Regents and Chancellor Rebecca Blank’s complete disregard for students’ concern on how the lifting of the out-of-state enrollment cap shows they really don’t care about the Wisconsin Idea.

Even Associated Students of Madison, a relatively inactive student governing body, disapproved of the decision. The lack of shared governance involvement in the decision-making process is concerning.

Regents committee approves resolution ending non-resident enrollment limits

Loosening the out-of-state enrollment cap turns UW, once the crown jewel of the state, into a bougie playground for anyone not from Wisconsin. It gives the money-hungry university administrators incentive to accept out-of-staters while leaving in-state high school students in the dust.

As Noel Radomski said, this decision will inevitably make UW “richer and whiter,” further increasing the socio-economic divide already prevalent on our campus.   

Instead of turning their backs on in-state students, the Board of Regents and Blank should be working with Wisconsin K-12 schools to help with college preparedness.

But for being near-sighted and only caring about money, we give the Tunnel Vision award to Blank and the Board of Regents.

The Shove it Up Your Ass Award

“Too far.” “Ugly scene.” “Rude behavior.”

Come on people! It’s just snow! A few cheerleaders and marching band members get beamed by nice, tightly packed snowballs launched from section K and all of a sudden — as so many national headlines claimed — Badger fans don’t have class???

It was the first snow of the year at the best university in the Midwest at the last home game of the season — let us have our fun! These are students who wait months until they can duke it out on Bascom Hill in the annual Lakeshore vs. Southeast residence halls battle royale. Throwing precisely aimed fastballs is in our nature.

Plus, no one cleared the stands for us, we had to get rid of the snow somehow.

Hey, the band members are some of the most highly physically trained athletes on our campus! They could have started lobbing ‘em back. Show us what you got!

The real MVP of the day was good ol’ Bucky Badger. After getting a few too many icy rockets to the furry, plush face, he came back out with shields to deflect the attacks. Talk about a Badger that thinks on his feet and knows how to be resourceful.

Instead of criticizing our character, people should be applauding our school spirit. We went all out, bundled up, tailgated all day, packed the stands and stuck it out until the end of the game in freezing temperatures, ankle deep in fresh snowfall having the time of our lives, despite three shitty calls taking away our victory on Senior Day. Would you see Gophers doing that?

To all the haters, we give you the Shove It Up Your Ass Award. Also, the We’re Still Salty Award goes to us.

Take the Money and Run Award

In February 2014, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation filed a lawsuit against Apple Inc. for patent infringement. A U.S. jury in October ruled against Apple, announcing the iPhone maker had used University of Wisconsin technology without permission in many of its products.

UW wins patent lawsuit against Apple

Following the ruling, WARF snagged a $234 million payout for UW, a remarkably high amount when considering the average patent payout last year was $4.3 million, according to past reporting by The Badger Herald.

Apple to pay $234 million penalty in UW patent lawsuit

Far from being an alleged “patent troll,” WARF is merely acting within its capacity as a guardian of a university’s intellectual property, resulting in a history of other big payments to UW.

WARF has had great success in its past patent litigations, including the securing of a $110 million settlement from Intel in 2009 over the same patent.

And in September of this year, WARF alleged that Apple’s new products, including the iPhone 6S, had again violated that patent, leading to the filing of yet another suit against Apple.

For excelling at its job of hawkishly guarding UW-made intellectual property and scoring some hefty cash funds, The Badger Herald Editorial Board awards WARF the Take the Money and Run Award.

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