Campus’ unwritten rules summarily entail respect for others, property

Matthew Walters November 13, 2013 0

In any setting or situation, there are just some things that you should never do. Even Elizabethtown College, with its pleasant and inviting atmosphere, has its own list of taboos and no-no’s. Admittedly, these may just be a list of things that I personally find annoying, but I would like to think that most of us are on the same page. Here are some things that you simply should and should not do at this school.

Make sure you do a good job parking. This applies to just about any parking situation in general, but is especially critical at Etown. Prime parking spots at this school are particularly coveted by anyone with a car on campus, and doing a terrible parking job is like squandering the space you have earned. Students will often drive for one of two reasons: they have somewhere important to be, or they are too lazy to walk. In either situation, no one wants to put up with your lousy parking. Someone who has an off-campus field placement, internship or other engagement should not have to deal with your car crossing the line. Forcing a lazy person to maneuver his or her car around yours will make for a cranky driver. Due to the size of this school, anyone can find out whose car is whose — so watch out.

This is another fairly universal complaint, but due to the small class size at Etown, the point rings especially true. Be considerate in the classroom. This suggestion encompasses several different pieces of classroom conduct. First of all, don’t be that person who makes a habit of correcting your professor as if you’re being paid five dollars every time you do it. While the professor may appreciate being corrected up to a certain point, you run the risk of being obnoxious when you do this in excess. You probably won’t even notice the collection of eye-rolls you will have accumulated from your classmates.

If you want to make your classmates moan and groan even more, why not ask the professor a question at the end of class? Your classmates will have to stick around so that you can feel a brain cell smarter. Do your peers a favor and personally ask your professors at the end of class, unless the question pertains to a class assignment.

When you go to a small school like Etown, it’s natural to form opinions about people, positive or negative. Some people, however, like to sit in their residence hall lounges and judge everyone who walks by — especially on weekends. This is simply not an acceptable place to cast judgment upon your peers, not to mention whether or not the act of judging people is appropriate at all. People don’t want to walk into their residence halls just to have your eyes on them, whispering and chuckling when you think they’re out of earshot. Find a better way to spend your time. I would think that the person coming back to his or her dorm building just got back from socializing, studying or an extracurricular activity. That’s more than you can say while lounging around contentedly in a chair while metaphorically attaching nametags to people. Save your behavior for the “creeper booths” in the Marketplace.

Speaking of the Marketplace, if you’re there at a crowded hour, don’t hog the good tables if you’re by yourself. I can’t remember how many times I have walked into the Marketplace with friends at a particularly hopping hour and can’t find a table in sight. Suddenly, we find a perfect table on the small side of the seating area, only to see one person’s phone on the table. If two people were sitting at the table, it would’ve been fine. But one person? That’s just selfish. Having a nice table to yourself is completely fine during the not-so-busy hours. During rush hour, however, finding a comfortable spot at several other people’s expense makes you quite the jerk, intentional or not. You can dine just as easily at the smaller tables lining the sides of the larger side of the Marketplace.

Lastly, on the topic of dining, don’t cook for yourself at the more ridiculous hours of the morning. The majority of fire alarms set off on campus are from people who attempt to make a meal at 3 a.m. Just don’t do it. People will find out that you were the culprit rather quickly. There’s not much to say about this one. Just use your brain, which I would think you were born with if you’re attending college.

Many of Etown’s “unwritten rules” are simply nitpicks. We have probably all done something to annoy people at this school, but it’s impossible to make everyone happy. The message behind each of these suggestions, however, is consistent: be considerate of others. At this school, we sit in the same classrooms, eat in the same place and walk the same paths. The least we can do is consider whether or not our actions are inconveniencing our peers. In reality, the College has only one unwritten rule:

Be respectful.

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