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Food-Based College Pranks Can Make a Mess of Your Education

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Jan 16, 2023 | 0 Comments

Thanks to classic films like Animal House, food-based pranks, mischief, or practical jokes have long been associated with the college experience. Many college students believe that pranks are simply a rite of passage, something that they have to do to get the full college experience. What they may need to realize is that college pranks, including food-based ones, can quickly go from harmless fun to punishable offenses.

Food-Based Pranks Can Devour and Destroy Your Education

When students go to college or university, there's an expectation that they will be able to enjoy the experience in a safe and protective environment. Schools outline this expectation in their codes of conduct. The codes of conduct are the rules and regulations all students and staff must follow in order to help ensure that everyone can live in an atmosphere of fairness, honesty, and good behavior. Pranks may be considered violations, especially if they cause damage to students, the school, or to property.

At the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), the school's code of conduct forbids students from “engaging in conduct appropriate for members of an academic institution (such conduct includes, but is not limited to pranks…throwing food at persons or property…”). At Fresno Pacific University, the school's student handbook states that while pranks can be harmless fun, the administration has the right to take action against students if the prank causes a disruption in any way or adversely affects other people.

What types of disciplinary action a school takes against a prankster will depend on that school's rules and the fallout from the prank. A harmless prank would most likely be overlooked, while one that actually hurt someone or caused significant damage could have the pranksters facing serious sanctions, including suspension or even expulsion.

What Are Some Types of Food-Based Pranks?

There are a huge number of different types of food-based pranks. Some of them are as simple and harmless as serving a juicy-looking, giant hamburger that's actually a prop (or a cake!), filling a Dunkin Donuts box with vegetables, or sending 100 pizzas to a 10-person fraternity.

An example of food-based pranks that are not ok and can land you in serious trouble include giving someone food they could have an allergic reaction to or putting laxatives or other drugs in the food. Another example would be sending rotten food to a dorm or school building, making it impossible for people to use or enter the premises and possibly causing damage.

Work With an Attorney if You're Facing Sanctions for Food-Based Pranks

Violating your college or university's code of conduct by engaging in a food-based prank that turns harmful or destructive could land you in serious hot water that puts your entire college education at risk. If you're hit with sanctions by the school, you'll need a legal advisor by your side who can help you navigate the next steps.

National education attorney Joseph D. Lento and his Education Law Team at the Lento Law Firm have years of experience defending clients who are dealing with sanctions from their schools. They can help you plan the best defense so that you can go back to focusing on the rest of your education.

Reach out to the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686, or contact us online.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he and his team have sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address any school-related issue or concern anywhere in the United States.

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