UW students launch “Jump Around” petition

FILE - In this Oct. 25, 2008, file photo, Wisconsin fans dance to "Jump Around" during an NCAA college football game against Illinois in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Andy Manis, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 25, 2008, file photo, Wisconsin fans dance to "Jump Around" during an NCAA college football game against Illinois in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Andy Manis, File)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – University of Wisconsin-Madison graduates think they’re the cream of the crop and will rise to the top. And they want to yell it one last time.

Students are losing out on walking across a stage during commencement this year because the university-wide ceremony is being held in Camp Randall Stadium. So if they can’t walk, they want to jump – as in, playing the school’s de facto, frenzy-inducing athletic anthem “Jump Around.”

In years past, graduates took the traditional walk inside the Kohl Center during multiple ceremonies. But university and student leaders wanted to include all of the roughly 6,000 graduates this spring in a single ceremony that will be the first commencement in the stadium in 24 years.

Graduates will walk during smaller ceremonies in their respective programs – but some don’t want to go out like that.

Francesca Moroni, a senior from Chicago, launched an online petition Wednesday urging school officials play “Jump Around,” saying: “We can’t imagine a better way to come together for the last time than one final Jump Around at Camp Randall. IF WE CAN’T WALK – WE DESERVE TO JUMP.”

But university officials were a step ahead: they had long planned to surprise students by playing the song at graduation.

Sarah Neibart, a senior from New Jersey and the class of 2014’s treasurer, helped plan the ceremony. She said House of Pain’s infectious 1992 rap hit, a staple at Badger football games since 1998, has been on the playlist for months – and she’s a little bummed the secret’s out.

“It’s one of the best ways to end our four years at UW-Madison,” she said. “It would have been interesting to see students freak out, out of nowhere.”

The tune is as much a part of the school’s game day traditions as its official fight song, blasting across the stadium’s public address system between the third and fourth quarters – sending students into a frenzy of leaping and hopping that literally rocks the building.

And the class of 2014 will get to spit out lyrics one more time.

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