‘Mad’ cow leads chase through campus streets



By Paolo Cisneros

When the trailer that contained a cow named Jori pulled up to the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity Sunday morning, residents thought the animal’s day was pretty well planned–poop and go home.

But the cow had other ideas.

After breaking free from its enclosure, the bovine, native to a farm in Lincoln, Ill., led more than 10 people on an unprecedented cow chase through the streets of Champaign.

As part of the fraternity’s main philanthropic event of the semester, residents decided to host a “Dumps for Dollars” event in which attendees bought tickets that corresponded to squares of a grid on the fraternity’s lawn. The ticket holder whose square the cow defecated on would win a cash prize.

“We got the idea from another (Alpha Epsilon Pi) chapter in Maryland that does the same event and raises a lot of money,” said house philanthropy chair Marc Kovarsky, sophomore in Media. “We decided that instead of doing our annual flag-football tournament we’d try something new.”

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    The event went as planned for the first half-hour or so: Jori did her job, the winners collected their prizes and the festivities continued. Attention shifted away from Jori, and that was when she got mad.

    “Once it had done its business people became disinterested and walked away,” said fraternity president Matt McNamara, junior in Media. “That’s when it started getting a little riled up.”

    As the cow’s owner was leading it from its enclosure through a fenced runway back into the trailer, the animal pushed through the fence and took off down Second Street.

    “A bunch of guys grabbed their cars and tried to chase it down,” McNamara said. “Other people just instinctively started (chasing) it.”

    “A few guys from an apartment building jumped in a truck and actually had a lasso with them,” Kovarsky said.

    The cow eventually cornered itself between two fences and a tree on John Street between Second and Third streets. It calmed down after being surrounded by people, Kovarsky said. The group waited for 10 to 15 minutes for the cow’s owner to arrive with the trailer.

    Despite the brief period of calamity, house officers said no property damage occurred, and the cow was returned to its trailer unharmed.

    “We raised a lot of money for some good causes,” Kovarsky said. “Now that we’ve done it we know where the flaws are and how we can fix them.”

    Money raised by the event was donated to the Alpha Epsilon Pi Foundation, an organization that makes pledges to three specific charitable organizations each year.

    The prize money went to two individuals to avoid a dispute after the excretion fell on the dividing line between two squares.

    “The dump fell in such a way that we split it,” McNamara said.

    McNamara added that the house may consider hosting the event again next year.

    “It was one of our most successful philanthropies yet,” he said.