Northwestern Kicks Off Spring Quarter with Annual Swimming of the Bulls Event
Chicago’s O’Hare Airport just saw one of its busiest weeks in history, having thousands from all over the world flock through its terminals to participate in Northwestern University’s famous Swimming of the Bulls.
Every year, come the beginning of spring, Evanston’s largely ineffective drainage system becomes overwhelmed, unable to drain at the rate that the winter snow melts. Water floods the streets, turning them into miles-long stretches of medium-depth pools.
Northwestern takes advantage of this undersized drainage system by blocking off the stretch of Sheridan Road that runs through its campus. The university then releases tens of bulls it imports from the Navarra region of Spain onto Sheridan Road, allowing them to swim down its length.
Individuals can sign up to swim with the bulls for a small fee. The event attracts thousands from all over, and is one of Northwestern’s largest fundraising events of the year.
“We’re really excited about the turnout this year,” commented university president Morton Schapiro. “This is one of the largest turnouts in Swimming of the Bulls history, and I couldn’t be more pleased with all the effort we put in to attract this record number of participants.”
The event does not exist without controversy, however. Critics point out the high occurrence of underwater trampling, underwater brain damage, and even underwater goring. Evanston resident Morgan Lang condemned the event, stating, “There are multiple counts of serious underwater injury every year, some even fatal. If there aren’t more regulations put into place, this vicious cycle simply won’t cease.“
Spectators can view the event for free this coming Saturday along Northwestern University’s stretch of Sheridan Road. More details can be found online at the event’s website.
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