Retro Telstar 6th Edition: Senior Pranks

Letters to the Editor (pub. May 15, 2003)

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Retro Telstar 6th Edition: Senior Pranks

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“Retro Telstar” is a series that sifts through piles of archived articles from previous issues of the Telstar newspaper and unveils the most witty, the most archaic, and the most relevant. The series features weekly installments in its quest to connect current students with the Scorpions of the past.


This week’s edition of “Retro Week” offers something unique. A letter to the editor, penned over a decade ago, and an accompanying response from one of Telstar’s modern editors, Sheridan Ecker. The fantasy of a senior prank is revered by underclassmen as they anticipate their moment to unleash chaos upon the school. Inevitably, most of these grandiose plans dissipate before they come into fruition.  The few that pass the test of time ultimately become archived in Satellite’s lore.  Enjoy a debate of two minds, of two times, about the practicality of senior pranks.

Letter to the Editor from Ben Lehnertz, May 15th, 2003

What ever happened to senior pranks? I remembered a band of hooligans that taped fish to the junior bleachers during powder puff, but that was homecoming. Nothing memorable has happened since. Is it for fear of harsh punishment by the administration or lack of creativeness? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one for vandalism or putting people in danger, but I would love to have a good, wholesome laugh at some first-class shenanigans that doesn’t cause too much trouble.


Response From an Editor, 14 years later

Sheridan Ecker, Copy Editor


Dear Mr. Lehnertz,

Unfortunately, senior pranks fall into a sort of gray area–no one is required to do it, and it takes a certain kind of person to be willing to pull one off. That perfect senior-prank organizer has to be equal parts creative, driven, and daredevil enough to risk the trouble into which senior pranks can get you. That eliminates most of the kids who usually organize school events; why risk suspension when you’re trying to get into a great college? The remainder usually are just apathetic enough not to bother doing anything, preferring to stay on the sidelines and have a good laugh when someone steps up and pulls a prank. That leaves a very small number of people left; we can only pray one of the jokesters of the school has the patience to organize and pull off a successful senior prank.

So, to answer your question in short: I don’t think it’s specifically fear of repercussions or lack of creativity which leads to a dearth of pranks. It’s an unwillingness on behalf of hundreds of students to step up into a thankless job of school wide importance. Apathy kills fun.