The Pranker's Code is a set of guidelines developed and adopted by the engineering students' societies of schools across Canada, which are intended to be followed when engaging in friendly pranking activities. The Code has been discussed at and adopted by students including at the Canadian Federation of Engineering Students (CFES) and Engineering Students Societies' Council of Ontario (ESSCO) since at least the early 2000s.
The text of The Pranker's Code, reproduced below, was previously hosted on ESSCO's website until the website was redeveloped in 2018.
1.1 This document is not meant to limit or deter the idea of pranking, but rather to promote it. If done properly, inter-school pranks, kidnappings and mascot thefts result in increased level of spirit for all the schools involved. Different schools, however, often have different ideas about where to draw the line and what is considered fair-game. Thus, The Pranker’s Code acts as a set of guidelines, appealing to the individual’s sense of honour and his/her respect for other Engineering schools. The code is meant to be as general as possible, and if need be, can provide the basis for more detailed local agreements. The process by which students obtain permission to perform a prank varies from school to school and is thus not discussed in this document. However, if local agreements are to be created, it would be useful to make these procedures explicit. This document is also limited to the discussion of inter-school pranks and not pranks performed on the general public.
2.1 The “Code” is based on the following two principles:
Guiding Principle #1: Successful school rivalries are built upon mutual respect for people, property and possessions.
Guiding Principle #2: A notable prank/kidnapping/mascot theft is one that leaves the rival school thinking "Damn, those crafty bastards!"
3.1 A good prank should have some innovative, crafty or novel element as defined in the second Guiding Principle.
3.2 A Prank should be reversible. Pranks involving paint, fixures or other alterations that cannot be removed without causing further damage are strongly frowned upon.
3.3 The pranking school must be accountable for their actions. They should take credit for their prank in a timely manner, and never try to hide their school’s identity or blame the prank on another school. If there was a cost involved in removing the prank the pranking school should be willing to provide the funds. However, it should be noted that if the pranked school cries foul on a well executed prank and demands that the pranking school perform the cleanup, they will probably be regarded as sissies.
3.4 When pulling a prank, you are acting as a representative of your school, and should aware of the resulting implications. Students without the proper authority from either their Council or another appropriate organization should not be performing pranks on behalf of their school.
3.5 In the case where the guidelines of the “Code” have been respected, both schools should do their best to keep the ensuing discussion/debate between the student societies. If the “Code” was disregarded, however, the victim school has every right to alert the faculty, campus authorities or city police.
4.1 In the spirit of the second Guiding Principle, thefts that fall into this category are limited to important symbols or mascots of the rival school. Stealing photos or displays from the hallway of another school is not considered crafty or respectful. Live mascots are also excluded and fall under the category of kidnapping.
4.2 The use of physical violence to capture a mascot is also frowned upon, both for legal reasons and in accordance to the second Guiding Principle. The method of capture should be well planned, innovative or in some other way, impressive.
4.3 Intrusion of personal property is considered going too far, unless previous agreements have been made between the two schools. If such an agreement has been made, the pranker must insure that the property is not left unsecured and vulnerable to theft.
4.4 The pranking school must be accountable for their action and admit to the capture in a timely manner.
4.5 The cost of repair for any damage that occurs during the process of capturing the mascot is the responsibility of the pranker.
4.6 If alterations are to be made to the captured mascot (such as engravings), they should be made with the cost of repair in mind. If severe or irreversible damage is done, the pranking school should be willing to pay for the repairs or replacement.
4.7 In the case where the guidelines of the “Code” have been respected, both schools should do their best to keep the ensuing discussion/debate between the student societies. If the “Code” was disregarded, however, the victim school has every right to alert the faculty, campus authorities or city police.
5.1 In accordance with the second guiding principle the kidnapping should be well planned. Knowing in advance how the kidnapee will respond, or pre-staging the kidnapping is essential for avoiding conflict.
5.2 Any use of force must desist if the kidnapee is unwilling to participate.
5.3 Kidnapees should be fed adequate, if not excessive, amounts of food and beverages.
5.4 Conditions for release should be feasible and reasonable. It should also be possible to meet these conditions within a time period of 24 hours.
5.5 Consideration emergency release should be given in the case of impeding midterms, exams or other similar situations.
5.6 In the case where the guidelines of the “Code” have been respected, both schools should do their best to keep the ensuing discussion/debate between the student societies. If the "Code" was disregarded, however, the victim school has every right to alert the faculty, campus authorities or city police.