In a nearly unprecedented move, Marquette University sent an email to every student explicitly stating a negative position on slow walkers.
“We felt that the phenomenon of people not moving their ass on W. Wisconsin Ave during class hours was a real detriment to the long-term mission of our university,” said Marquette spokesperson Anne Islington.
Under Wisconsin state law, little can be done to prevent lines of three or four people moving at snail’s pace from taking up the entire sidewalk. Marquette is urging students to call both national and state senators to draft legislation making it easier to severely punish such behavior.
“Right now, MUPD can’t even issue citations to slow walkers,” police officer Andy Gasner said. “We’re hoping that if there’s enough support for it, we can get laws in place to put them behind bars, or at least lock them in a McCormick bathroom for an hour.”
Students on campus have expressed strong support for the initiative; a Golden Seagull survey found that 90 percent of students were in favor of punishing slow walkers in some way, with 42 percent in favor of pushing under the No. 10 bus.
Harrison Docks, a senior in the College of Business administration, doesn’t see nudging leisurely meanderers into oncoming traffic as an extreme position. “They made me two minutes late to my accounting class and my professor counted it as an absence,” he said. “I don’t think any jury would convict me for it.”
The Golden Seagull made several attempts to reach out to self-identified slow walkers for this story, but they could not make it to the interview location by deadline.