10 Ways You’ll Get Caught at Iowa

By  | 0 Comments

Though you can’t be sent to the principal’s office, you wake up at noon and unlimited ice cream makes college seem like there are no rules, you can still get into trouble on campus. Iowa Hawkeyes are definitely troublemakers at parties and on the field. The punishments for these crimes range from dirty looks to $700 fines, a real killer for the college budget. Keep yourself out of trouble so you can keep yourself in school.

1. Jaywalking

How Much Trouble You’ll Get In: 2 out of 5

What Your Parents Will Say: “That’s a real crime?”

The popular meme of a student walking in front of a car saying, “Hit me, my college tuition will be paid,” has caused college students everywhere to cross streets with reckless abandon. The Iowa City Police Department has taken this matter into their daily routine with the seriousness of armed robbery. If you get caught jaywalking, you probably won’t get a ticket, but you do get a stern warning embarrassing enough that you only cross when the little walking man lights up and never when you see the red hand.

2. Wearing the wrong colors

How Much Trouble You’ll Get In: 1 out of 5

What You Parents Will Say: “Why did we spend $70 in the Hawk Shop just for you to wear that filth?”

The red and yellow of Cyclones have no place on our beautiful black and gold campus. The same goes for basically any colors other than those of the Hawkeyes. You can wear those T-shirts that you bought on other college tours or from your hometown friends’ schools to bed. While you won’t get in actual trouble (no fines or scoldings), you might suffer some dirty looks while walking around campus.

3. Staying in the bars past 10

How Much Trouble You’ll Get In: 5 out of 5

What Your Parents Will Say: “You’re coming home. Now.

Which scenario sounds better? Going to the bars at 8 p.m., have a good time until 9:45 p.m., walk down the street to Mesa to buy some mac and cheese pizza and walk home to pass out (or walk to a house party to turn up some more). Or, going to the bars at 9:30 p.m., washing off the X on your hand and getting a friend to tape their wristband on to you, only to caught at 10 p.m. sharp by a cop walks who notices your wristband barely hanging on like a college student during finals week, and owing $700 to the state of Iowa? Leave the hand sanitizer for washing X’s off and the gum for sticking wristbands on at home. $700 dollars is enough to buy 70 burritos, and you do not want that ticket on your record.

4. Drinking in the dorms

How Much Trouble You’ll Get In: 4 out of 5

What Your Parents Will Say: “Did you make us buy you all that Sprite for mixers?”

Iowa’s “dry campus” rule seems like a joke…unless you’re on UI Housing and Dining property. If you’re caught drinking anywhere in the dorms, be prepared for probation and a hefty fine. If you’re around a group of students drinking in the dorms and you don’t report it, you can get in trouble too. While the dorm staff will most likely not involve the police, the incident still goes on your student record, which won’t look good if you get into any further trouble with the university. So  keep the sodas from the lobby vending machine virgin.

5. Taking food from the dining halls

How Much Trouble You’ll Get In: 1 out of 5

What Your Parents Will Say: “Well you are paying enough money for that food…”

You can get away with sneaking a muffin or a banana out of the dining hall nine times out of 10, but that tenth time will embarrass you enough to be wary of trying again. No one wants to be yelled at by an older dining hall employee like it’s a middle school cafeteria. You are paying for this food and sometimes you just want to save that muffin for later, but to be successful you must learn the tricks of the trade. Only walk past the right employees and out of the right exits, use napkins and Ziploc containers to your advantage and make like a spy on a mission to get out of there slyly.

6. Parking illegally

How Much Trouble You’ll Get In: 3 out of 5

What Your Parents Will Say: “Read the parking signs. You can read, can’t you? What education are we paying for?”

Parking tickets vary in price depending on where you park. But repeat offenders will notice their fines gradually increasing.  Unfortunately, the parking situation at Iowa is severely limited, so be careful where you leave your car, otherwise your chariot will fly into the impound lot faster than you can say, “Wait so is it an odd day or an even day?”

7. Trying to bring bags into Kinnick

How Much Trouble You’ll Get In: 2 out of 5

What Your Parents Will Say: “What did you have in the bag?!”

Some Kinnick security workers take their jobs more seriously than the TSA. Even if you promise you have no illegal substances or devices in your neon fanny pack, you won’t be allowed into the football game with a bag of any kind. Like every rule, there are ways to get around this. But do you really want any cargo weighing your arms down while pumping the Pancheros burrito or throwing your arms up in an I, O, W, or A? Leave the luggage at the tailgate and walk freely through the eye of the Kinnick gate keepers.

8. Getting on or off the Cambus through the wrong doors

How Much Trouble You’ll Get In: 2 out of 5

What Your Parents Will Say: “Is this really an issue?”

Embarrassment serves as punishment enough for this minor misdemeanor. You don’t want to be the person that slows down the boarding of the Cambus because you were too impatient to wait through the line at the front door of the bus. Some drivers actually make you get off the bus and rebound too. The five-minute ride to the next stop will be the longest, most awkward five minutes of your life after the driver scolds you like you’re on a fourth-grade school bus.

9. Talking on the second floor of the library

How Much Trouble You’ll Get In: 1 out of 5

What Your Parents Will Say: “Study more, talk less.”

You won’t get removed from the library or yelled at by any authority figure, but talking in the upper floors of the main library definitely earns you death glares from other students. The upper floors are a haven for hard studiers away from the chirpy chatterers on the first floor. Respect the quiet zone and take your gossip and chit-chat down a level, literally.

10. Tobacco on campus

How Much Trouble You’ll Get In: 4 out of 5

What Your Parents Will Say: “Cigarettes? Didn’t DARE do anything for you?”

Drop the bad habit of smoking like a cigarette butt into an ashtray. The University of Iowa banned all tobacco products on campus, so you’ll get a ticket if you’re caught using them. The ticket won’t be too large, but it’s a good idea to not smoke anyways.


Marin is a pizza snob from Chicago (deep dish only) who loves writing, baking, and wasting the day away watching videos of baby animals. She is a Journalism major at the University of Iowa and she hopes to be the editor of a magazine one day.

Enter our Monthly Giveaway

Win $100 for YOU & $100 for your student org. Sign up to enter our monthly giveaway.