For residents of Moffitt Hall, this month was marked by three pranks. Some were typical, such as doorbell ditching and egging, but the last was quite distinct: someone had been “entering the suites of other residents and leaving behind soiled underwear,” as Community Director Tylea McCarthy-Walker described in an email to all Moffitt residents sent Sept. 6.
“It is not funny,” McCarthy-Walker wrote. “This is unsanitary, disgusting and unacceptable behavior for college aged students.”
According to Harrington CD Maria Barinova, prank investigation “goes up a chain of command.” Pranks would be dealt with first through “a conversation between the [community advocate] and the student,” and may lead to a private meeting with the CD. If the offense is great enough, the case would be referred to In-House Conduct and may result in a visit to Student Conduct.
“It really depends on a lot of factors. Was it property damage? Was somebody unhappy with the prank? Was there a sanitary concern? It depends on the severity [of the prank],” Barinova said. “Once you get into property damage or harassment, there’s legal issues that come into play.”
Neither CDs nor community advocates disclosed any specific details about the pranks. The residents of the floors which the pranks are rumored to have occurred on said that they did not know anything about the pranks, apart from the simple fact that they happened.
Moffitt CA Yesha Marfatia shared that she herself had been pranked, but in a harmless way that other CAs had approved beforehand: the residents of her floor taped Q-tips to her door. She found the gesture endearing, and has not taken them down.
“When we had our first floor meeting, I told [the residents] I’m down for pranks, but it has to be approved by either the CD or the CAs,” she said. “It was a friendly prank, so I did not mind it.”
Similarly, 9 floor Moffitt resident Jacob Crawford admitted to pranking the CA of his own floor, Will Corley, two weeks ago. In the spirit of Halloween, he covered the CA’s door with decorative cobwebs. As harmless in premise as it was, it startled Corley, as he has a fear of spiders. “It was funny, but me and spiders just don’t go,” he said.
“I didn’t do it alone,” Crawford said. “I’m not a snitch, though.” According to him, his accomplices continue to walk free.
The prevalence of pranks in a freshman-only building like Moffitt could potentially be attributed to its residents’ freshman status.
“In the whole three years I’ve been here, I’ve never had issues with [pranks]. I’ve never worked in a first-year building though, mostly sophomore buildings,” said Barinova. “[First-year students] like to have a good time. They’re new to college. Once you get to your sophomore year, you get used to the campus: what you should and shouldn’t do. You get used to living around other people.”
However, in another freshman building – Whiteface – neither the CAs nor the residents recalled any pranks.
CA Sean Reasor said, “The closest we get to pranks is fire alarms going off because someone doesn’t know how to cook pasta.”