The Tator

UW-Eau Claire student body awarded ‘Strongest Legs in the UW System’

Madeline Fuerstenberg

More stories from Madeline Fuerstenberg

November 2, 2020

As many students will proudly attest, UW-Eau Claire has rightfully earned its title as “Wisconsin’s Most Beautiful Campus” — but as of this week, students are now able to brag about a whole new collegiate legacy.

On January 28, the collective UW-Eau Claire student body was awarded the prestigious recognition of having the “Strongest Legs in the UW-System” by the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents.

“We’re very honored,” Chancellor James C. Schmidt said. “It’s not the reward we ever wanted, but it’s the reward we deserve.”

Many Eau Claire students are crediting this newly-obtained title to The Hill, where every day is an opportunity to strengthen those calves and tighten those glutes. Schmidt himself claims The Hill has a way of “furthering the physical health of our students, while simultaneously ruining their lives.”

Another possible catalyst for this recognition could be UW-Eau Claire’s many stairways — some of which exceed well over one hundred steps — both outdoors and in buildings.

“I’ve taken both The Hill and the nature stairway to Upper Campus in order to get a feel for which route is the quickest, the least painful, and requires the least effort,” said Maren Weir, a first-year nursing student. “Both options are miserable in their own unique way.”

While Weir claims to “loathe” both The Hill and the stairway, she explained that either route serves has her one — and only — workout for each day. Like many students at Eau Claire, Weir has found that she has no need for a designated “Leg Day” when every trip from Lower to Upper Campus is a workout in and of itself.

“I’ve never been a very active person,” said Weir, “but here, I’ve found myself to be in the best shape of my life. Forget the ‘Freshman 15’ — I’ve actually lost weight!”

Other students — like Logan Ableman, a sophomore kinesiology student and an athlete — are less than impressed with UW-Eau Claire’s new title.

“Isn’t this a little over dramatic?” said Ableman. “The Hill’s not that bad. I’m in good shape because I work at it, not because of any hill or staircase.”

While Ableman sits firmly upon his high horse, the UW-System Board of Regents holds steady in its belief that Eau Claire students are simply worth talking about. Even students with the lowest of muscle masses leave Eau Claire with a renewed sense of confidence and a fantastic set of legs.

Darryl Sternman, a member of the UW-System Board of Regents, explained the board’s decision-making process when choosing a recipient for “Strongest Legs in the UW-System.”

“There honestly wasn’t much of a debate,” he said. “Sure, all college students have to do a lot of walking, but I’ve never seen anything quite like the incredible leg physiques of the students at UW-Eau Claire.”

According to Sternman, his last visit to UW-Eau Claire was an eye-opening experience, as he had witnessed the pant legs of students tearing apart as they had climbed The Hill.

“It was incredible,” said Sternman. “I just knew that the board had to recognize the sheer power of UWEC students’ legs. No other UW school could ever compete.”

In celebration of UW-Eau Claire’s newest recognition, Chancellor Schmidt has commissioned a new statue for the Campus Mall. According to Schmidt, the subject of the statue will be a student doubled over in pain and exhaustion while standing on a sloped surface. The plaque will read “‘Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved’ – Helen Keller.”

The statue is expected to be put into place during the summer of 2018.