Ridden by mostly upperclassmen who are locked up in University Village and other fortunate students who sprint from the Metrorail to get to Memorial on time, the Hurry ‘Cane Shuttle system never fails to offer an interesting experience.
Being an avid shuttle rider, averaging two-a-days and covering a wide range of hours, I’ve noticed a growing epidemic within the confines of the shuttle ride: boys who take the last available seats and leave the remaining girls to stand, exhibiting an utter lack of chivalry.
Whether you’re waiting for the Fountain or University Village Express shuttle you can expect to wait about five to seven minutes for the next arrival. In the middle of the day, from University Village, you can easily obtain a seat. However, at 8 a.m., it’s more intense: everyone rolls out of bed in unison for the shuttle that speeds down Liguria Avenue at 7:45.
If you figure out the shuttle system “secret” and board the Hurry ‘Cane at the overhang on Liguria, you increase your chances of securing a seat, because it’s the shuttle’s first stop within the confines of UV. However, if you’re the unfortunate shuttle rider waiting across from Albenga Garage, you’re stuck throwing elbows with the guy that lives below you to get a seat for the five-minute ride to the Fountain.
As the coveted shuttle seat is acquired on a first come, first served basis, an aggressive girl needs to hold down the fort in front of the line that accumulates at the proverbial bus stop. Otherwise, you’re left standing next to a boy who’s comfortable in a bucket seat while you juggle that piping-hot cup of coffee, purse that’s half your size and miscellaneous book and or cell phone in your other free arm.
Things get spicy when the shuttle rounds the corner and stops in front of the Hecht Athletic Center to pick up the last of the stragglers. Occasionally, on the step-up, a boy who you thought was going to cut you off surprisingly lets you bypass him. You smile “thank you” as his respectful action is negated when the boy ahead in board short-snags the last aisle seat.
You huff and puff in a vain attempt to display dissatisfaction, as if any of the boys in your vicinity will take notice of your plight, and dangle awkwardly on the overhanging bar. It’s not exactly an uptown subway ride, but it would be courteous if one of the various boys in aisle seats, or any seat, could possibly shed it for a short ride. Then looking around, you notice, sadly, you’re not the only girl standing.
As you sway with the other bodies and listen to passengers hum to the blaring sound of 103.5 The Beat, you can’t help to think, has chivalry and good manners escaped the 21st century prototype of a boy? It’s not the 1950’s anymore, thank god, but guys still get the occasional door in 2007, so what happened to giving up a seat? Believe me, it won’t go unnoticed. You could possibly lock eyes with your next love interest or at the very least, it’s a good conversation starter.
Amy Sofka is a junior majoring in journalism and creative writing. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.