Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Crawl responsibly

Students should stand against the condescending tone of the Oshkosh Police Department’s latest video and prove the University and city wrong about pub crawl on April 9.

OPD released a video via YouTube urging students not to engage in the spring pub crawl on March 17. UW Oshkosh Police Chief Kurt Leibold and City of Oshkosh Police Chief Dean Smith spoke in the seemingly unscripted and live video.

In the video, Smith wanted to advise students of the consequences of attending pub crawl and deter them from attending.

“[Pub crawl] has become a large event that has evolved into really just a bad occurrence for the city and for the residences and you as university students, and I’d like to challenge you, if I could, to not participate in the activities of pub crawl,” Smith said in the video.

Smith also said students would be seeing a large police presence throughout the day.

“I will tell you that my police officers will be on duty,” Smith said. “We’ll be out in full force and we’ll be enforcing the laws and ordinances of the state of Wisconsin.”

According to Greg Lessne and M. Venkatesan’s paper, “Reactance Theory in Consumer Research: the Past, Present and Future,” when someone is told not to do something, they want to do it to take back their freedom. This is called the reactance theory.

“According to the [reactance] theory, when an individual’s freedom to engage in a specific behavior is threatened, the threatened behavior becomes more attractive,” the paper states.

Students feel their freedom has been threatened and they will respond by trying to regain control. Students will be attending pub crawl in full force this Saturday.

The video has quickly become viral on campus, receiving a spike in comments over the past couple weeks. As of April 6, the video had 15,813 views.

The video has sparked controversy on Facebook with students and former students speaking out against the video’s message. Parody videos have been posted in response.

As of April 6, “I Love Pub Crawl” had 14,721 views since March 29 with an the extended version, “I Love Pub Crawl Extended” at 1,671 views since March 31. Former UWO student Daniel Gartzke’s action trailer parody for the spring pub crawl has received more than 2,700 views since April 4.

The parodies made to make fun of the chiefs of police and the University’s stance on pub crawl have had a larger reach than the original. Students of UWO are going out to pub crawl if only to make a point that you cannot stop them.

According to UWO marketing student Daniel Olk, Leibold and Smith mishandled speaking to UWO students about how to conduct themselves during pub crawl.

“The police and university response in the video was where all they did was bash pub crawl and threaten students,” Olk said. “I think the way they went about addressing pub crawl is incredibly naive and the only result is a wedge that further separates and divides the student community with the police department.”

Oshkosh Pub Crawl LLC said the video illustrated how out of touch the University and city police are with students.

“The city of Oshkosh and the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh need to realize that lawsuits, bad videos and vague threats won’t stop young adults from making their own life decisions,” Oshkosh Pub Crawl LLC stated.

According to Oshkosh Pub Crawl LLC, the city and University’s video and message to students backfired.

“After the video was released we had an influx in shirt orders and Facebook page likes,” Oshkosh Pub Crawl LLC stated.

It is evident the video released by OPD has fanned the fire for students to participate in pub crawl.

UWO student Ryan Prueher said phrases from Leibold in the video like “our careers could be affected,” “we could get ourselves in a position we may not be able to come out of” and “don’t jeopardize your futures for a weekend of partying,” are threats.

“To paraphrase the police, ‘Don’t fuck with us; don’t question us and know we can ruin your lives,’” Prueher said.

Students like Olk are not denying the negatives of pub crawl but are concerned students are being cast out by the University and city.

“I am not naive to the fact that these cons will occur during pub crawl,” Olk said. “However, my argument is that these situations occur on a much greater scale during Country USA, Rock USA and Sawdust Days so it is incredibly unfair to stereotype this event as ‘nothing more than a bunch of house parties.’ The hypocrisy is evident.”

Leibold said he and Smith created the video to inform the public on their enforcement plan for pub crawl.

“The strategy used by OPD and UPD has not changed from past years,” Leibold said. “However, we are simply giving people a heads up so they will act safely, respectfully and appropriately during the event.”

OPD video never mentioned safety and only urged students to not attend pub crawl.

“Help your fellow friends, fellow students also make the right decision in not attending this event,” Leibold said in the video.

UWO student Michael Mergener said if the UPD and OPD had respected students and asked them to take measures to ensure safety, the video would have been perceived better.

“I believe if they would have simply asked for people to keep the house parties to a minimum and only to allow people you know onto their property they would have received a much more relatable response,” Mergener said.

Leibold said in the video UPD police and university administrators will be out during the day on Saturday.

“During the event, you’re going to see a large amount of police officers, community service officers as well as representatives from the Dean of Student who will be walking through your neighborhoods to ensure compliance on that day,” Leibold said.

According to Dean of Students and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Engagement & Success Sharon Kipetz, representatives from the Dean of Students office will be riding and walking with OPD during the day on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the surrounding neighborhoods of campus in identifiable t-shirts and name tags.

“We will be talking with students about being safe, about the weekend and safety measures,” Kipetz said.

Kipetz also said representatives from Student Affairs, including Vice Chancellor Petra Roter, will be partnered with OPD from 8 p.m. to midnight on Main Street.

Leibold and Smith would have had a more successful video if they had given students safety tips and asked to work with students during pub crawl, instead of threatening the presence of university administrators.

“Instead of coordinating with the college community to keep [students] safe and encourage us to police ourselves, they are instead trying to oppress us in an overly paranoid way that takes away the freedom for us to make our own decisions, just in case one of those decisions might be a mistake that casts [UPD and OPD] in a negative light,” Prueher said.

In the eyes of the police and the University, college students are kids that need their hands held. College students are some of the hardest working individuals in today’s society; students have to make that clear.

“College students must be responsible in that they now must confront new life challenges such as balancing work and your social life, paying rent and bills on time, managing coursework, being engaged in the community and making smart choices that will ultimately benefit them in their future career and social life,” Olk said.

Leibold said he wants to see pub crawl end due to the disorder, vandalism and underage drinking that occurs during the event.

Students should be aware of the common laws broken during pub crawl and the consequences for breaking them. Researching the local municipal code and state law will help students understand what is acceptable as an adult in Oshkosh.

House parties happen most, if not all, weekends here at UWO. If Leibold is looking to shut down pub crawl then he has to destroy the idea of Sloshkosh. That will not happen.

Olk described pub crawl as a great social event supporting local small businesses.

“As a business major at Oshkosh, I am always in favor of supporting small and local businesses in our area and the pub crawl is one event of many where I can support Oshkosh businesses and in turn have a great time with my friends as well,” Olk said.

Students should take steps this Saturday to have fun in a safe and responsible way, something the UPD and OPD don’t seem to think college students can do. Students have to let the city and University know that UWO students are responsible adults.

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