Can I ruin college’s holiday tradition of turkeys on campus?

This piece was originally published on Quora.

Turkeys take over campus for Thanksgiving week has become a popular tradition on a handful of college campuses.

Why is this tradition so popular?

To be clear, I’m speaking of the students. They go online and print out TU’s decoration kit and find ways to make (and break) the rules. By playing dirty tricks, they learn as much as they are rewarded. The show is a farce, so make sure you don’t become the town drunk who is offered alcohol every night.

Students do not have great memories of shopping for Thanksgiving décor. Everything is rushed, expensive, and everyone works much harder. (No way is the student mall open Thanksgiving morning.)

Even though the decorating process is inherently difficult, the stakes are higher than your high school’s decorations. The stakes can be much higher.

What can you do to protect yourself from some of the most common frauds and attempts?

Build in redundancies.

I highly encourage you to have helpers. Be prepared to outsource for extra-work. The point is to prepare for the possibility that you may not have any helpers on hand. Double up on your paper work.

Even worse, you may find that there are so many people taking “lots of pictures” that they do not come up with much authentic decoration. Fortunately, the film industry comes to the rescue! It’s a simple enough process, and I highly recommend it for fans of home video movies, too. It’s really easy: They just print up promo sheets with no paper details and rent a projector, and you get DVDs out in front of the students and they can’t leave the costumes alone. It’s great—and I highly recommend you use that process if you can!

Choose your team carefully.

Play a smart hand-o-knives game. Every home is different, and you can never be sure what other students are planning. Play the numbers game and make sure that you have two teams worth of contractors. It can also be a good idea to get one competitor to sign up for it and turn some of the other homes into a target market for him.

Approaching old friends for help is a definite plus.

What is the annual aerial piece?

I speak with some of the vendors each year. I have a sense of what they are planning. Since you have to get the contractors in ahead of time, a silent swarm of people is a perfect crowd builder. It is free for the contractors, but I always prefer to get them in on the act. They get a chance to look dapper for a few days.

Last, but by no means least, search around the interweb for student groups that have the “impressive decorations.” Students who have done this year are waiting in anticipation for other students to get rolling in what has become an annual tradition.

What are the best methods to avoid monetary fraud and the challenges of picking the right line?

Don’t underestimate students’ ability to spoof those changes. There are kids that have learned how to ruse access to university property and enter uninvited via crowdsourcing sites. Here are the best ways to avoid becoming the town drunk …

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