Administration-Mandated Senior Pranks Spark Controversy Among Students

Olivia Morfit, Staff Writer

Urban’s class of 2013 opted to reroute those logging into Facebook in class to a senior class homepage, while the class of 2014 chose a ditch day over a prank. This year’s graduating class chose to involve two schools by switching places with seniors at University High School. The tradition of a senior prank is a long-standing one, and used to go unauthorized by the administration. If the senior class reaches a consensus in favor of doing a prank, the co-presidents collect suggestions and allow the class to vote for their favorite. Nowadays, it’s administration-mandated and the ideas must be okayed by the dean, negating the “stick-it-to-the-man” origins of the prank.

The idea of a senior prank is now so widespread that there is a Wikipedia page entitled ‘Senior prank’ detailing the international custom and providing classic examples, such as spreading birdseed in the parking lot or putting fake snow in air conditioning systems. The article itself implies that while senior pranks are often innocuous jokes, they have occasionally gotten out of hand. However, the last four years of pranks at Urban have been harmless, leading to questions about the necessity for administrative regulation.

“I think that having school administration involved defeats the purpose of the prank” said Hannah Murphy (’15). “When the pranks and ditch days are regulated… it’s not really by the students.”

Lena Galinson (’16) echoed her sentiments. “I think that the whole point of these events is that the school has no control over them. It seems like teachers are trying to control the chaos… which takes away from the fun.”

At Drew, senior pranks are not school-mandated. “Last year someone egged the school, and last year the seniors filled a piñata with condoms during the International Day celebration and no one knew,” says Audrey Wilson (’15), a Drew School student.

“The seniors don’t check with the administration,” she said, “and as far as I know no one has ever taken it too far… no one has been suspended or anything.”

“I see both sides of the issue,” says Adam Goldstein (‘15). “I’ve heard of some senior pranks that were really really funny, and some that were just (malevolent)and a total inconvenience for the rest of the school.”

Whether or not it is deserved, the administrative prank-checking process certainly produced a well-received prank this year, even if it ended with our bell being stolen. The Urban seniors got the day off after the first two periods of class, while the University seniors had to head back for their afternoon classes, so Urban pranks clearly aren’t without their perks.

Urban seniors at UHS put the real 'U' on top
Urban seniors at UHS put the real ‘U’ on top

Also, we got our bell back.