Apr 1, 2013

April Fools' Day is Alive and Well on Campus

Penn severs association with 15 fraternities

It’s April Fools’ Day, and college publications have been busy coming up with pranks—some funnier and more thoughtful than others.

The GW Hatchet at George Washington University found an upside to the USNWR scandal as the admissions office focuses on “hipsters” attracted to the “off the list” university. “In interviews with accepted students – who took spring campus tours sporting non-prescription glasses, checkered scarves and beer-stained Wavves T-shirts—most said they were drawn to GW’s newfound anonymity after it was kicked off the U.S. News & World Report’s top colleges list last fall.”

Clearly marked satirical, a headline from The Pitt News proclaimed that a Pitt student was named CEO of IBM after completing the Outside the Classroom Curriculum (OCC) program, which claims to teach the skills and qualities necessary to forge the perfect student upon graduation.

NYU’s Washington Square News announced that NYU President John Sexton has been selected to replace Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show.”  One NBC executive who spoke on the condition of anonymity complained, “We shot a screen test with him and it was a disaster.  It was like he had to hug everyone in the room before he could even begin the monologue.”

The Guilford College Goofordian  reports that Guilford is legalizing recreational marijuana use. “It seemed like the right thing to do, and the right time to do it,” said Dean of Students and Vice President of Student Affairs Aaron Fetrow.

In Philadelphia, the Daily Pennsylvanian claimed that Penn would be severing association with 15 fraternities due to engagement in “fraternity-like activities.”  At least half, but probably all, of the sanctioned fraternities participate in “alcohol consumption, unprotected sex, hazing, loud music playing and other activities that are completely typical of fraternities everywhere.”

Further west, the University of Nebraska’s “Daily Halfasskan” issue described the suspicious behavior of a man who has been stuck on top of the Capitol building in Lincoln.  “We figure the poor fellow is just scared witless up there,” Lincoln Police Chief Michael Rakes said.

The April Fools’ edition of the University of Wisconsin Daily Cardinal reports that after crushing first-round losses in both the men’s hockey and men’s basketball NCAA tournaments, it was revealed that each team was mistakenly sent to the wrong city and competed in the wrong sport.

The University of Georgia Red & Black advertised a new Master’s in Surgical Assisting as “the fastest way into the operating room short of needing an operating room” and reports on a study documenting tool usage among bearded capuchin monkeys.

And if you’re looking for a more general satirical analysis of current events and daily routines at colleges and universities, check out CronkNews, an online faux magazine that claims to parody the Chronicle of Higher Education.  Today’s edition features articles reporting traces of horse meat found in dining room tofu, the expulsion of “bookish” students at a Boston area college, and the thirteenth renaming of a campus “Center for Student Engagement” in hopes of drumming up more interest and improve NSSE scores.

Profane, mean, and sometimes a little libelous, campus satire evidently isn’t quite dead yet.

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