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Sachi Thomsen / Staff Illustrator

Feeling like you haven’t had a good laugh since spring break ended? Don’t worry, April Fools’ Day is right around the corner. Now is the perfect time to start planning those sneaky pranks for your beloved roommates and friends. It may feel challenging to think of funny pranks that don’t go too far. Don’t fret—here are some campus-friendly pranks that won’t get you in trouble.

The Classics

Pranking your roommates and/or suitemates on April Fools’ Day never gets old. For starters, Saran Wrap is an essential item. Just Saran Wrap everything from doors to beds and, if you’re feeling especially ambitious, desks and chairs. A timeless classic is putting it across toilet seats or under the caps of shampoo bottles.

If you don’t have Saran Wrap on hand, here’s a perfect opportunity to use those yards of wrapping paper that you have left over from Secret Santa (we know you wrapped, like, three presents with it, tops). Take some of your roommate’s Lit Hum books (or textbooks of choice) and revisit Christmas by wrapping them. It will look like it’s their birthday when they go to class with their wrapped books!

Our rooms can feel a little old by this point of the semester, so add some new room decor! Frame a picture of your favorite faculty member’s face and prop it up on your roommate’s desk after they go to sleep on March 31. Trust me, they will love waking up to a picture of Deantini.

The World Wide Web is also a great place to prank your friends. Edit your college on your Facebook profile and write a long, sappy post about transferring to Cornell because you’re intimidated by the Core. Don’t worry, your CC friends will understand.

By the students, for the students

Grab a table, some friends, some cups from JJs, and give out hot chocolate for a club that doesn’t exist! Give yourselves a ~jazzy~ name that outshines all of the student groups on campus. Put up flyers all over campus advertising free food (which of course, you won’t have), or make edgy candy grams from a fake student organization. Just make sure you’re not charging money because that *might* get you in trouble.

You could even send notes notifying people of secret meetings. Take a group of people who have absolutely nothing in common, and send them messages indicating that they have been selected to partake in an intense scientific study. Include a specific time and place for them to meet, and include a dress code if you’re feeling exclusive. They will show up and bond over their confusion.

Columbia Exclusive

Here at Columbia and Barnard, we are blessed with many sculptures that could use a little spicing up. For starters, there’s Alma Mater, who looks like she’s ready for a new outfit. Grab a lei or two, and prepare Alma for some true Low Beach weather with sunglasses and a paradise twist. She’ll blend in much better with the herd of seals, I mean, Columbia and Barnard students on Low. If you prefer something a little less exposed, other subjects include the Thinker statue in front of Philosophy, Jefferson in front of Journalism, or the Greek Games statue at Barnard.

This time of year is also peak tour season for prospective students and their parents, which means it’s the perfect opportunity to be a prospie all over again. You can get a refresher on the history of Low and Butler libraries and hear about the Scholar’s Lion (as if you haven’t heard it enough times already). Blend into the pack so they don’t notice that you aren’t wearing a guest sticker. Once the tour begins to draw to a close, bring up some provocative questions that will really test your tour guide’s abilities. You can ask about the best make out spots on campus or which clubs throw the most lit parties. This is your chance to show off your Oscar-worthy acting skills as you watch the tour guide struggle.

Of course, these are just a few ideas to get you started. Have fun putting your own spin on them and scaring your peers! Just remember that April Fools’ Day is not about creating controversy or getting expelled—it’s about putting a smile on someone else’s face. As competitive as Columbia can feel sometimes, you don’t have to think of something legendary to make April 1 a special day.

Think you’re taking it a little too far? Here’s a good rule of thumb: If you would be uncomfortable with a prank being done to you, don’t do it to others.

Spectrum Trainee Ria Honda can be contacted at

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Spring Break April Fools' Day Fun Campus Life Roommate Columbia Barnard
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