Tuesday, June 22, 2021
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Rude behavior on campus is spiraling out of control

This column was inspired by a rude instant message I received. Out of the blue, someone I’d never met decided to tell me one of my columns was “bad” and I was “fucking stupid” for writing it.

It got me thinking about rudeness in general and how prevalent it is across campus. Writing on rudeness seemed like a joke at first, but after witnessing some truly inconsiderate acts, I became convinced it was a good idea.

Rude behavior is often fueled by impatience. Getting things done as quickly as possible is the American way.

This explains why damp clothes are removed from dryers 20 minutes before the dryer stops. It isn’t justified, but I can see why you would feel that your clothes are better than anyone else’s.

The problem, of course, is that this only leads to more rude behavior. When a student reaches the laundry room and finds his still-wet underwear out on display, he will take someone else’s clothes out of a dryer to make use of it. The next student that shows up will become frustrated and the cycle repeats itself.

In some cases, rudeness is caused not by impatience, but by delay. If, for example, the person using a dryer leaves his or her clothes in the dryer for a long time after it has stopped, he or she is being rude in denying someone else its use. This is especially true when a laundry room is shared by nearly a hundred people.

For a reason I can’t quite fathom, driving in bad weather causes people to be rude as well. In case anyone missed them, there are a number of signs across campus that make the following helpful suggestion: state law – yield to pedestrians in crosswalk.

That means stop and let people cross. Does it happen often? Think again.

Look at it from this perspective – you are the driver of a climate-controlled car. Pedestrians are braving the elements, having snow blown in their face in sub freezing temperatures, getting soaked by rain and stung by wind or sweating in 90 degree heat. Who suffers least by waiting?

Impatience behind the wheel is hardly confined to snow days. I had an unfortunate encounter with ice and the Garden State Parkway, so I tend to drive a bit more cautiously than the average college student. By this, I mean I only speed by about 10 miles per hour.

In the parking decks, I have been known to go more than double the posted speed limit (15 miles per hour in a five mile per hour zone) and still was tailgated nonetheless.

Has anyone almost been hit by a maniac peeling out at 30 miles per hour? I have, and I was fortunate enough to get my ass out of the way.

I realize not everyone has flipped a car and needed a hundred stitches in their face, so I guess I should let minor driving offenses that haven’t gotten me killed slide, right?

Sadly, the rudeness in the laundry rooms and parking garages pales in comparison to how careless some people are with their own refuse.

There is absolutely no excuse for not throwing out your own garbage. I don’t want to look at a half-eaten box of chicken fingers, nor do I want to smell them as they slowly get rancid. That is what a trash can is for. I don’t want to clean up after you and the custodial staff gets paid to empty the trash can, not put garbage into it.

The job of cleaning up after unappreciative college students sucks enough as is. Why make it worse?

While not throwing out garbage can be attributed to laziness, I’m at a loss when it comes to the wave of anti-chalking chalkings. The stupidity it must take for someone to respond to an advertisement with vandalism is baffling.

Here’s a tip, people: no one wants to hear about the “penis monologues” when they are paying to see the Vagina Monologues. If a basketball game is “old news,” grab an eraser. If you do not want to hear about Jesus, then don’t go to the forum.

If a chalking legitimately offends you, there are people you can contact to ensure that your rights are not violated.

When you pick up the chalk and retaliate, you are stooping to the level of the “offenders.” Be a better person.

Finally, this brings us to my reason for writing this column in the first place. If you disagree with a columnist, the correct forum is the “Letters” page. Throwing personal insults at a columnist without presenting any arguments besides saying the column is “fucking stupid” will not further your cause.

If you write to the editor, the whole campus will be able to read whatever proof you can offer that a column is wrong. You might be able to change someone’s way of thinking. On the other hand, abusing columnists will solve nothing.

Laundry courtesy, driving etiquette, cleanliness, chalking restraint and constructive criticism are not difficult, but all require some measure of thought and consideration, and nobody likes that. Sometimes, it’s easier just to be rude.

However, if everyone were to take a moment to be considerate, the College would probably become a more bearable place. Isn’t that what we’re really after?


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