Culture News

Arizona State Students Prank University of Arizona Newspaper, Suggest Giving the University to Mexico

Gearing up for football games means a lot of things: body paint, beer, resting your voice for screaming really, really loud, and also pranks — especially if said football game happens to be the Territorial Cup between Arizona State University and University of Arizona.

ASU student Ben Kaufman took the pranking approach, posting a YouTube video featuring a group of Sun Devils fans, including Kaufman, traveling to Tucson to dupe UA students by posing as fellow Wildcats. 

Their goal? To convince folks walking around the Tucson campus that their university should be given to Mexico as part of a fictional ballot proposition called Prop 200. Spewing fake factoids about the Gadsden Purchase and using charts and a white board, the group convinced various coeds to sign a petition that was covered by UA's student newspaper, The Daily Wildcat.  

The Wildcat has since taken down its article about Prop 200 (though an archived version is viewable online) — presumably after realizing that the QR code distributed to Prop 200 supporters led to an instructional website that described how UA students can transfer to ASU. 

Wildcat editor Jessie Webster published an article on November 18 conceding that the paper's editorial staff had been pranked, writing, "The game hasn’t even started yet, but score one for the Sun Devils, apparently."

Will it have any impact on morale going into Saturday's game? Hard to say. We're — as one UA student was described in text overlaying Kaufman's video — "sceptical."

The Territorial Cup takes place at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 21, at Sun Devil Stadium.
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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski