April Fool’s Day College Pranks & Traditions

Harvard fans get fooled

The Yale Pundits is one of Yale’s most notorious groups of pranksters. April Fool’s Day is a day taken seriously when it comes to delivering elaborate pranks. This secret group is famous pranks involving naked students and clowning on tricking younger students. The Pundits were the masterminds behind the famous Harvard-Yale football game day prank where Harvard fans were given poster boards before the game that when held up in unison spelled the words “WE SUCK.”

Let’s do a prank eh? (Canada: University of King’s College – Halifax) It appears our friends to the north have more up their sleeve than Bryan Adams when it comes to practical jokes. At midnight on April 1st, King’s student caught out in the Quad can expect to be soaked—or should start running. Armed with water balloons and squirt guns, the students of the College engage in a full-blown campus-wide water fight, all under the cover of darkness.

Fake news – College Newspapers across the country will release their annual April Fool’s Day editions which usually comprise of satirical stories, offensive jokes, and other crude content. These fake editions of the campus paper are popular among students and usually don’t sit on the racks for very long. National advertisers love them too because of the added boost in impressions, and the ability to have have a little fun with their creative and copy. Check out the Daily Free Press at Boston Univ for an example. http://www.dailyfreepress.com/

University of Nebraska – The School of Music at UNL puts on an April Fool’s Day concert every year as a way to help raise money for their national music honor society. Past concerts have had professors dressing up as Britney Spears, funny skits, and other good hearted tomfoolery.

The University of Michigan Patriots are heroes of high preparation pranks, deploying costumes and co-operation for fast, funny moments. Here is a classic prank involving Pac-Man costumes. Other videos can be seen here.

3-2-1…..Umm. In 2008 fliers were handed out on the Brigham Young University campus saying that the last in a series of dorm buildings being torn down was scheduled to be imploded on April 1. Hundreds of students eagerly turned up to see the spectacle, but after a long wait it never happened. The culprits of this prank remain unknown.

1998 Website HackNerd Humor – In 1998, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced that it was purchased by Disney for $6.9 billion. The press release announced some of the plans which included moving the campus to Orlando and adding new buildings that would house the School of Imagineering, and Donald Duck Department of Linguistics. The prank which appeared on the school website was the work of students who had hacked into the school’s central server and replaced the school’s real web page with a phony one.

Does your school have a fun April Fool’s Day prank tradition or story? Let’s Hear about it!

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About Jason Bakker

Jason Bakker is a native Minnesotan and has been working in the area of youth marketing for nearly a decade. He currently works with Minneapolis based Campus Media Group as the Director of Marketing and is responsible for following trends in the ever-changing landscape of youth culture and media usage, and for consulting advertising agency and national brand professionals on how to develop integrated marketing programs that reach college youth.

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