As a wise man once said, “There is an ethic to pranking; creating the greatest possible shock response with the least possible damage or inconvenience to the maintenance people typically charged with cleaning up afterwards.”
That wise man was Dr. Mike Kugler.
Dr. Kugler has been teaching history here at NW for ___ years. During his time at NW he has seen his fair share of pranks carried out by students, and even been the victim of some.
“I was pranked when someone glitter-bombed my office and another student covered Randy Jensen’s office walls and cabinets with post it notes and playing cards,” Kugler said. “I remember guys stealing all the clocks from VPH and hanging them from the trees in the green; piling all the chairs from VPH in front of the north entrance to the second floor; putting an RD’s VW in the chapel entry; and the notorious changing of chapel pews.”
There have been a few of those pranks that toe the line of causing too much damage and clean up time. Some of these include the infamous chapel prank and the stealing of all the caf’s silverware.
Two years ago a group of students decided to sneak into the chapel and unscrew all the pews in Christ Chapel and turn them around so they faced backwards.
Junior Julian Dittman recalls partaking in the shenanigans during his freshman year when he was a part of Heemstra.
“We had a group of 30 or so guys that got together,” Dittman said. “We all had screwdrivers and made a strategy for who would do what.”
The Heemstra guys had a few people wait inside the chapel, hiding after it closed so they could let the rest of the group in.
“We had six people crawling underneath each pew unscrewing them, and then a couple people turning them around,” Dittman said. “When we were done and we were all standing on the chapel stage, I thought, ‘We should turn these back around,’ because I had a really bad feeling about it.”
Dittman’s premonition turned out to be correct. The whole group was caught when someone turned in a screenshot of a Facebook group they had used to plan the prank.
“We all got called in for a meeting about a week later, where we were all given a contract and a fine,” Ditmann said. “We were lucky that was our only punishment. It was an experience, but not the best decision I’ve made.”
Not all pranks at NW have been this serious though. Josh Potter, who is known by many as the reigning king of pranking, has been involved in many pranks, most of them innocent.
“This fall I covered Connor Tupper and Daniel Zapata’s door in so much duct tape and cardboard that they couldn’t get out in the morning,” Potter said. “One time I also filled my roommates pillow and bed with a bunch of fruit; by the time he finally found it his bed was harvesting fruit flies.”
Another king, or queen, of pranking is Alison Schutt, who has utilized everything from baked potatoes to a subscription to Teen Vogue to pull off a successful prank.
“Once we made 72 servings of instant mashed potatoes and went to fill someone’s drawers with them,” Schutt said. “Unfortunately he walked in while we were doing it, so we had to scoop them all back out.”
Some of Schutt’s pranks have been a bit more malicious, however.
“As revenge for being water ballooned by Lincoln Morris and some Heemstra guys we decided to stitch the neck and arm-holes shut in all of Lincoln’s clothes,” Schutt said.
Pranks come in all different forms, and often creativity is key. Maybe next year we’ll be writing about a prank you pulled… just make sure not to do too much permanent damage.