Editor’s Corner: Manners: rare campus commodity

Would it kill more people on this campus to utter the words “please,” “thank you” and “excuse me?” Because a lot of people certainly act like it would.

This is something I tend to have a problem with on a daily basis. I’m not saying every student on this campus is rude, because there are plenty of perfectly polite individuals at Rider. However, we certainly have our fair share of people whose parents evidently never taught them anything about common courtesy.

It’s not that hard. If I’m walking in front of you and not moving fast enough, or if I’m blocking the french fries at Daly’s, all you have to do is say two very simple words, “Excuse me.” Or, “Pardon me,” if that’s more your style. That’s all it takes. I don’t want to be in anybody’s way around here. I will gladly vacate the space that you desire to occupy if you ask me to do so nicely. But do not mumble obscenities and huff at me. Or, worse still, bump into me and then glare at me like I’m the one who’s being rude. That won’t get you anywhere.

Another simple fix to this problem? Say, “Thank you,” when someone holds a door open for you. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ll stop and hold a door open for someone, and that person will walk past without even looking at me. In the words of Ellen DeGeneres, “Well, you’re welcome, your majesty. Sorry I didn’t sprinkle any rose petals for you.” Seriously, I’m not asking for a parade or anything; a simple thanks will do me just fine. Even a nod in my general direction is better than nothing.

While the above grievances drive me crazy on a daily basis, the biggest problem I have with some of the students here is the unbelievable level of disrespect that they show to professors. I know you’re not going to love every teacher. I’ve certainly dealt with a few professors that I’ve viewed as incompetent, but I still treated them with respect. Most of the professors here have doctorates, and a good number of them have professional experience to boot.

That’s not the only reason the attitude in many of my classes floors me. Maybe it’s the fact that I spent 12 years in Catholic school (where disrespecting a teacher is decidedly not OK), but I just cannot talk to the professors here the way that some students can. Talking in class with your friends while the professor is trying to teach, complaining endlessly about assignments and texting are all great ways to show your professors that you really couldn’t care less about the subject. Keep in mind that these are the people who control your grades and, if they’re professors in your field, may be able to help you get a job after graduation. Don’t waste that resource by being rude.

If you’re still with me, and I’m hoping most of you are, just keep in mind that “please” and “thank you” are the magic words and above all, mind your manners. A little politeness can often go a long way.

– Emily Landgraf

Senior journalism major

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