Six People Have Been Caught Urinating On A Ben Franklin Statue This Semester
Like all old, rich colleges, the University of Pennsylvania has a ton of stupid traditions. Many of them are steeped in history — the day where Penn juniors carry canes and wear fake straw hats dates to 1937 — and others are more recent.
Here’s one that’s less than 30 years old: It’s tradition to pee on the statue of Benjamin Franklin that sits at 36th Street and Locust Walk. The statue of Franklin sitting on a bench went up in 1987.
It’s quite popular, though: Six people have been caught doing it already this year. Other urinators, and they no doubt exist, have escaped detection by Penn Police. Pee for Pennsylvania! Public urination on public art!
The Daily Pennsylvanian reports there were 43 instances of public urination in all last year, but that Penn Police don’t record peeing on the Ben Franklin statue any separately than peeing anywhere else. The consequences, the paper reports, aren’t so harsh: Public urination on Penn’s campus is just a citation with a $50 fine. If one contests the charge, the fine could go up to $300.
Due to the frequent urination on the bench, the Ben Franklin statue also has to be cleaned more often than usual. It’s only scheduled for one cleaning a year, but it gets several.