Pranksters who plan on pulling an April Fools’ Day prank may want to re-think their decision. Even harmless pranks can negatively impact a student’s academic career, officials say.
“A lot of students do not realize that any kind of pranks that happen either on or off campus are covered by the CU Student Code of Conduct,” said CU Spokesman Bronson Hilliard.
According to Hilliard, both on and off campus April Fools’ Day pranks can result in persecution by Judicial Affairs and possibly end a student’s academic career. Although April Fools’ Day is just one day on the calendar year, according to Hilliard, the entire month of April is notorious for mischievous behavior.
“We have a tendency to see odd behaviors sprout in April,” Hilliard said. “Especially the increase of acts of bias-motivated incidents just before we hit finals, we are concerned about the month of April, not just April Fools’ Day.”
Regardless of the consequences for mischievous behavior, some students pull pranks anyway.
Chad Petersen, 22, a senior mathematics major, said he’s pulled pranks on April Fools’ Day.
“I definitely pulled a prank on April Fools’ Day,” said Petersen, who would not give specifics on his April Fools’ shenanigans.
While some pranks may require days of planning, Danielle Flannery, 19, a junior marketing major, said that pranking can be impromptu.
“It’s really an spur-of-the-moment opportunity,” Flannery said. “I like doing wacky stuff.”
One of Flannery’s favorite pranks involved changing the volume on her friend’s car stereos.
“I like turning the volume all the way up to music that my friends really don’t like listening to and when they turn on the car, the song blasts out,” Flannery said. “I like seeing their reactions.”
While these CU students may pull pranks outside of class, they said they have not considered pulling a prank inside their classes.
“I definitely do not want to tread those waters,” Petersen said.
Instructors’ reactions to in-class pranks vary, based on the type of prank pulled. Betsy Forrest, an atmospheric and oceanic sciences instructor, said her reaction to in-class mischief can be dependent on a variety of factors.
“If it [the prank] was harmful or hurtful to somebody, then I would solve the problem diplomatically,” Forrest said. “But if it [the prank] was funny, then I would just laugh.”
To download the complete Judicial Affairs’ Student Conduct Code, visit their Web site at http://www.colorado.edu/studentaffairs/judicialaffairs/code.html.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Jacob Elyachar at Elyachar@Colorado.edu.