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Conversation with a clown

SHELBY WELSCH, Staff Writer

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With the rise of the ever-so-popular clown craze, many people have reported personal experiences with clown sightings, but rarely do the actual clowns get to voice their experiences. A student at UNI who has requested to remain anonymous stepped forward to share his story about dressing up as a clown on campus and why he elected to do so.

A night of creeping

It was a normal night in Dancer Hall. The clown had just purchased all the parts to his clown suit and waited patiently for it to get dark outside so he could linger around campus and give random students some “harmless” scares.

He started his adventure in Dancer Hall walking down corridors, strolling above Rialto and, his personal favorite, scaring people in the elevators.

“The elevators were really fun,” he said. “People were hiding in the corners, girls were screaming, it was great.”

He also took a trip to the Dancer Hall laundry room where he had a quick dance break with a few people who were playing music down there. After joking around with the people in the laundry room, he strolled down the hallways of Dancer going door-to-door and “screwing with the girls” in the hall.

He said that lots of people responded to his clown look in a very light-hearted way, many even asking to take pictures with him. But some people did not react so calmly.

“I got a taser pulled on me,” he said. “So I ran away because I was not about to get tased!”

Next, he decided that although the Dancer Hall festivities were fun, he wanted to venture outside for a while.

When he tried to leave the building, however, an RA stopped him and told him he wasn’t allowed to wear a clown mask in the dorms.

He took the mask off for just enough time to leave the building and be out of proximity from the RA, then put it right back on before venturing across campus.

He said that while he was outside, several people “freaked out,” screamed and ran away; but luckily he didn’t get any more tasers pulled on him.

The most ironic part of the situation may be that the clown is actually a criminology major, and plans to be a police officer after he graduates.

“I know my rights,” he said. “And as long as I’m not chasing people, it can’t be considered harassment.”

He did indeed claim that nobody was chased or was in any way close to getting harmed in the process (except for maybe him almost getting tased), and that students shouldn’t worry if they see a clown on campus. According to him, more clowns have been reported getting hurt by people reacting negatively to a harmless joke than victims have been reported getting hurt by a clown.

The clown emphasized that he had good intentions throughout the night, and he was simply just joking around. He also mentioned that he thinks most of the other clown sightings on campus were probably done with the same intentions as his.

Public Safety response

Helen Haire, chief of police and director of Public Safety at UNI, said that Public Safety has not received a report of someone dressed as a clown harming or threatening to harm anyone at UNI.

Haire explained that police officers are instructed on how to address individuals donning clown costumes.

“If an officer encounters someone dressed as a clown, the officer will talk to that person and remind them that they should not do anything to harass or threaten people,” Haire said.

Halloween

When the clown was asked whether he plans to put the costume on one more time, he smiled and said that the clown costume might have to make one more appearance on campus in the spirit of Halloween.

“It might just have to come out again,” he said with a laugh. “But we will see.”

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Conversation with a clown