OSHKOSH - A semi-annual event in Oshkosh which draws UW-Oshkosh students and police to downtown Oshkosh is scheduled for Saturday.
The pub crawl is not a university event.
However, university officials are concerned about the safety of those students who participate.
Saturday night, three to four thousand UW-Oshkosh students are expected to descend on downtown Oshkosh to socialize and to drink alcohol.
"It's a great thing for downtown Oshkosh, because a lot of students hang out at the campus bars and this gets students over to the Main Street bars just to see what it's all about," said UW-Oshkosh student Rocco Frievalt.
And it's an event at least some bar owners welcome.
"I haven't had any problems and the kids have been really well behaving themselves and it brings some business into town," said Zee Ajdini, owner of Legends Sports Bar & Grill.
But not all bar owners see it that way. Some told FOX 11 off camera they worry about liability if incidents take place.
FOX 11 did a fact check to see how many citations have been issued over the last few pub crawls. Earlier this year Oshkosh police issued 21 citations, while last spring police issued 55 and last fall only six. And in all three cases the majority of violations came from people having open alcohol containers on the streets and for crosswalk violations.
The pub crawl is not an official UW-Oshkosh event. In a statement, the university said:
"Built upon irresponsible misuse of alcohol, the pub crawl is a gateway for risky and predatory decisions and behaviors that lead to sexual assault, violence, physical injury, disorderly conduct and property damage."
The Oshkosh Police Department has made several safety improvements in recent years. Adding barricades to force students to cross at crosswalks and reducing the speed limit on Main Street during the event. Even giving bars a list of recommendations to post for patrons to see.
"Basically how to avoid arrest and how to have a safe time, so that's something that we are trying to do to educate people on how they can do that," said Officer Matt Harris who is in charge of special events for the department.
"I think it is getting better, I think that students know there is a lot of heat on them that if we aren't on our best behavior it can be taken away," said Frievalt.
Something students and the downtown bars say they don't want to see.
Organizers of the pub crawl were granted a permit for the event from the city.
Oshkosh police say the security costs run about $5,000. That fee is paid to the city by the pub crawl's organizers.
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