Guest Expressed: “The 5 Best College Pranks Ever”

Today James tells us about a few inventive pranks by college students. Enter James:

When young people are living away from home for the first time, there are bound to be high spirits. Often, this irrepressible energy is channeled into support for college sports teams and pep rallies. However, it can also lead into pranks, schemes and hoaxes.

There is a strong tradition of pranking in colleges across the nation, but not all pranks are the same. Check out those college pranks that college pranksters everywhere can only try to emulate.

5. The Rose Bowl Hoax

In 1961 the Washington Huskies were playing in the Rose Bowl against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The Huskies’ supporters were planning on holding up individual cards that, when seen together, would display huge images of support for their team. Unfortunately for them, some canny Caltech students managed to swap the cards so that the actual display was a large ‘CALTECH’.

4. Giant R2-D2

Carleton College in Minnesota is home to the Goodsell Observatory. Some bright spark noticed that the observatory’s shape was shockingly similar to that of the well-loved robot from the Star Wars movies. Accordingly, they painstakingly painted sheets which, when draped over the building, transformed it into a huge replica of George Lucas’ R2-D2.

3. Upside-Down Club

Most college students want to display the best of their college to visitors. It’s no different at MIT, but their view of ‘best’ includes their ability to prank. One year, visitors at the Campus Preview Week were confronted with a lovely club lounge — completely inaccessible, as it was all upside-down, affixed to the underside of the campus’ Media Arch.

2. Great Dome Subway Car

MIT again, but this time the students went to new heights … literally. MIT’s Great Dome became home to a subway car. Working on solar power, the subway car actually managed to move around. I suppose it’s not surprising that the technological focus of MIT leads to elaborate and technically difficult pranks. Only at MIT …

1. ‘Stanford Sucks’

When supporters of Stanford’s football team heard the referee proclaim “Stanford Sucks” after giving a penalty for unsportsmanlike arrogance, they were shocked and appalled. However, the hapless referee was as surprised as the spectators. It turns out that the referee’s microphone had been cunningly hacked by the student pranksters from the University of California, whose rivalry with Stanford has been going on for decades.

Of course, not everyone likes pranks. If you’re one of those people who fears the annual coming of April Fools’ Day and would rather a college career that doesn’t risk getting caught up in an elaborate prank, then you should probably check out online colleges – although who knows, there are many opportunities for pranking in the online world, so you might not be safe there either!

James, a guest blogger, regularly writes about education, including online colleges, traditional colleges and new developments in higher education.

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