Is courtesy dead? Hold on, my cell phone is ringing

Sadly, it seems, being courteous is a dying art. I’m sure there isn’t one person on this campus that hasn’t witnessed at least one act per day that qualifies as either rude or inconsiderate. Perhaps you can relate to the following:

Last Wednesday I’m in the library studying, when low and behold someone’s cell phone goes off. There would be nothing to write about here if that was the end of it, but you can probably guess that it wasn’t. Within 5 to 10 minutes another lovely digitally reproduced musical tone went off, followed by another and another, and so on. I decided to conduct a quick field research study and to my dismay I heard no less than 37 phones ring in the following 3 hours. Now on its face 12 calls an hour is not any sort of Earth-shattering statistic, but in a place that has a clearly posted sign at the entrance that says “Turn your cell phone off,” it’s a little outrageous, not to mention inconsiderate.

I have experienced in both the library and Stubblefield building’s study room acts of inexcusable inconsideration. There I am, studiously reading my Anthropology textbook, already having been interrupted by a cell phone, when two guys walked in to meet with a friend of theirs. By the way they carried on, one might have thought they hadn’t seen each other in years, with behavior that continued even after someone “shushed” them. In the library, a group of students enter and speak so loudly that they can be heard from the other end of the hallway. And unfortunately, this type of conduct is not limited to students alone. Last week I’m in the computer lab – in all fairness, not a completely quiet environment – and one of the faculty came in to converse with a student. This PHD talked so loud I thought maybe he had hearing problem (or perhaps he just liked the sound of his own voice).

Surely it can’t be that difficult to put your phone on vibrate or leave the room if the call is that important. And if you need to converse, please go outside where this august institution has, at considerable expense, created many areas where you can sit and catch up on all the important items of your day with your cell-phone wielding friends. And furthermore… hold on a minute… I’ve got to take this call.

Scott Wacholtz is a junior majoring in computer science and political science who is a former Marine Corps Sergeant.