I am one of those students that likes to study on campus because I concentrate better when I’m away from the distractions of home. One of my favorite places to study is the Tanner building commons. It’s nice there — an open atmosphere, running water fountains, comfortable lighting, sufficient laptop connections and the presence of fellow students.
Recently, while reading at one of the tables in the Tanner building, someone sat down at the same table. This was no bother, after all it’s everybody’s table. A few minutes later, another student sat down with the first — once again, no problem. However, shortly thereafter they began a conversation apparently about a class project they were working on. After a few minutes of being distracted by their conversation, I had to pack up my books and computer and go elsewhere. I could not concentrate on what I was reading because of their conversation.
My concern is not with the fact that people talk in these common areas, rather, my concern is the lack of common courtesy I was shown. It was as if I didn’t even exist. I was crowded out of the table by their inconsiderate manner.
Most students are polite when it comes to public areas and will ask, “Do you mind if I sit here?” before planting themselves at a table, and perhaps this isn’t even necessary. But I suggest it is appropriate to take notice of those that are reading and choose another table or at least inquire if a group conversation is going to be a disturbance. I realize these public areas are everyone’s space, I’m just suggesting that a little common courtesy will go a long way toward everyone’s enjoyment of such spaces and prevent some of us from being forced into a stuffy library.
David J. Crockett