Do not get caught being rude

Cheryl McEvoy

Orientation is over, upperclassmen are settled and classes have begun; therefore, it’s time to get back to (or begin) life as usual at Villanova. As is the case at any institution, ‘Nova has certain unwritten rules for various social settings and situations. Most are so obvious they go without being said; however, surfing, tanning and even working may have dulled manners over the summer. So for freshmen who want to be ahead of the game or upperclassmen who need a refresher, The Villanovan offers the following quick tips on campus etiquette:

Blackboard Basics1. Desks are awkward for sitting, let alone sleeping. You may have pulled an all-nighter, but what good is finishing your paper when you sleep through the next assignment? Plus, no one wants to be “the kid that drooled in bio.”2. Silenced cell phones are golden. As much as you love your ringtone, professors will not be impressed by your affinity for Spice Girls’ “Wannabe.” Under-the-desk texting in class is also a big no-no – and more obvious than you think.3. The classroom is not the dining hall. Sure, everyone brings coffee and the occasional bagel to class, but the General Tso’s special can seriously impinge upon learning. “One of my teachers said we’re not allowed to [eat] in class,” says sophomore Libby Newkumet, adding that professors sometimes find food disruptive. Hold off your cravings for major meals until after class – then get thee to Belle Air Terrace! 4. When e-mailing professors, leave out the LOLs. You don’t have to be Shakespeare when writing a quick note to a professor, but don’t let casual online writing get the best of you – i.e. “sorry bout class i was sick” is not a stellar way to get on your professor’s good side.

Dining Decorum1. When it comes to the buffet line, get in; get out; go eat. When Villanovans head to the dining hall, they’re hungry. And they want food. Pronto. Cell phones, iPods and in-depth conversations can be distracting and hold up the flow, which only results in a line of grumpy students. That being said …2. “Please” and “thank you” never get old. Dining Services employees always appreciate politeness. And in case your manners escape you, Kathy the omelet chef will make sure you ask “May I” before you get a bite of eggy goodness. And again, talking on your cell phone when ordering can be rude, so even if it’s a quick coffee from Holy Grounds, hang up when you get in line.3. Eating is not a race (unless you have class in five minutes). As sophomore Jonathan Limberakis suggests, wait until all of your friends are at the table before you chow down. “I usually don’t start eating until the other people I’m eating with sit down,” he says.4. Choose conversation topics wisely. The dining hall can be a social mecca, but be wary of the details you dish out over brunch – most students don’t want a play-by-play of your late-night wing-eating challenge that ended in a 4 a.m. sprint to the bathroom.5. The trash can is your friend. After enjoying your turkey wrap, burger, cookie, etc., show your appreciation for the meal by throwing your trash away. “We’re here to serve you, but we’re not your servants,” Holy Grounds barista Natasha Miller says. Don’t neglect the recycling bins either – put glass, cans and paper in the appropriate containers.

Residence Rules1. “Bless this mess” is not everyone’s philosophy. “Even if you’re a slob at home, you can’t be a slob at college,” freshman Kara Cassella says. The room doesn’t have to be spotless, but try to keep the junk pile confined to one corner – you’ll be more likely to get visitors if they don’t have to climb over dirty clothes to see you.2. Let sleeping roommates lie. If your roommate is sleeping or studying, keep the noise to a minimum. Turn the TV off, and use headphones if you’re listening to music. Another sound offense can occur in the morning “when a roommate’s alarm goes off and they don’t hear it, but the roommates do,” freshman Elizabeth Churchill says. If you have an early class, fight the urge to hit “snooze.” 3. Beware the sock on the doorknob. Okay, no one actually hangs a sock outside anymore, but who wants to have an awkward “American Pie”-style encounter? Establish a code for those times when you or your roommate is, um, entertaining a guest. 4. Take your squabbles outside. Fights with boyfriends or girlfriends, parents and roommates are inevitable, but respect your fellow residents and have your “discussion” elsewhere. Villanovans may love drama on “The Hills,” but that doesn’t mean they need a reenactment in the hallway.

Party Pointers1. Parties do not accept meal plans. “Always offer to throw down some sort of money,” sophomore Ian Coreth says. College students are broke, so bring some cash to help your hosts defray their bills. 2. Even open parties have their limits. “Never bring more than four people to another person’s room,” Limberakis says. Check with the host before bringing your entire intramural soccer team along.3. Know when to be quiet. Belting out “Livin’ on a Prayer” may be a party do, but not when the RA is making rounds. Keep it down when the host says so. 4. Move in or move on. Don’t loiter in the doorway – it adds to the volume level and causes traffic for those who are entering or leaving, leading to an unhappy host. Check out the partygoers toward the back of the room. It may be hot, but you’re all friends, right? 5. Avoid the party foul. It’s the classic – but nevertheless painful – faux pas: spilling your drink on someone. At best, it’s water; at worst, it’s red Powerade. Either way, make it a nightly goal to keep yourself and those around you dry.