Being pranked on the first day of college in Brazil is part of the “welcome ritual” for public college freshman. State run universities here are free and normally offer a good quality education so the competition is tight–and pranks are nearly inevitable.
In the past five years, however, freshman had no motivation to avoid the hazing at the Federal University of Medicine in Itajuba because seniors started practicing solidarity pranks where the incoming students must collect food for local charity institutions.Historically, the prank is only a one-day thing, but these students had to gather food from May 9th to the 13th, and the donations collected totaled over two tons of groceries.
The idea was born after academic officials decided to put an end to harassing pranks that put students in embarrassing situations.
The freshmen divide themselves into groups and compete against each other to see who can gather the most food.
“Every year, the 87 freshman are divided and the goal is to overtake the numbers from the previous year, says Freshman Vitoria del Sarto. “This competition helped us to double last year’s total donations.”
Of the total amount, 2000 Kg (2 tons), the winning group this year amassed 800 Kg (1763 lbs) for delivery to charity organizations, poor families and low-income college employees.
According to Del Sarto the act of delivering the food is a nice way to approach students and the local population.
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