When the Big 10 Conference opens their arms to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2011, being able to go all out on Saturday afternoons at Memorial Stadium might not be enough to be considered one of the elite.

For University of Wisconsin-Madison undergraduates, it's how hard you hit the books that determines how hard you can hit the infamous Wisconsin wet campus party scene on the weekends.

For a wet campus, Wisconsin is no slouch when it comes to students making grades Monday through Friday. Considered a "Public Ivy," Wisconsin offers a top-notch education without the price tag.

If Nebraska considers itself worthy of "Public Ivy" status along with Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Minnesota, all of which are wet campuses, and make the list of top party schools in the country year after year, then there should be no hesitation following suit with our neighbors up north.

"When you come up to Madison you definitely have to be on top of your schoolwork at the very beginning, so you have to have your priorities straight," Wisconsin freshman Nick Abrahamson said. "If there was a campus that was wet and academics weren't a priority, it could definitely hurt a campus. But not here."

The common trend among these schools is the "Forbidden Fruit" syndrome, where one only desires what one cannot have.

When drinking and partying on campus become redundant, students look for different outlets to have fun, or even be productive, as a University of Michigan freshman Spanish major explained:

"If anything, having a wet campus has helped me with school, just because it's gotten to the point where it was such a pain to sneak around booze, so the novelty wears off fast," the anonymous student said. "Being in a fraternity and going to all those crazy parties that we have here are great, but there's nothing wrong with having a few beers and relaxing on a Friday night, so I'm not damaging my health or anyone else."

With every social outing, whether it be a block party with family or a frat party with the bros, getting from point ‘A' to point ‘B' is always a concern when alcohol is involved.

Wisconsin and Michigan students have safe-driver programs that are at the student body's disposal whenever there is a need for one.

"We have a ton of safe-driver programs that you can just call up and they'll take you where you need to go for free, and campus security is there when you need help," Abrahamson said.

At the University of Michigan, handing out tickets brings up the rear on the list of concerns during a night out on the job, and students are very grateful for members of campus security keeping them safe during the weekends.

"There's a certain sense of trust between the students and campus security, where I can tell an officer if I had been drinking at all that night," the Michigan student said. "Under no circumstances would I lie to them, because they're interested in our health and safety."

Even though the interviewee would like to remain anonymous, they are proud to admit that it's the social norm at these party schools.

"Everybody here loves to go out on weekends and party, but we're just a bunch of nerds."

sampeshek@

dailynebraskan.com