Campus as a Professional Environment
For us undergraduate students, our university campus may seem like a personal playground and a constant, convenient hang out spot. I’ve definitely noticed this more so on the Math side of campus than in the Arts Quad buildings. But for the professors and graduate students – this is their place of work.
We are all sharing this space and there are certain courtesies that should be followed to ensure a comfortable environment for everyone. The courtesy that I am currently referring to is the level of personal displays of affection on campus.
At work, would you walk around holding hands with your significant other, holding each other around the waist, or making out? No, you wouldn’t. So you should show the same level of personal affection around on campus. I’m not saying that a quick peck on the cheek to say good-bye as one of you goes to class is problematic. It’s the excessive displays and certain, specific situations that I am arguing against.
The particular incident which spurred this post was at an info session earlier this week. There was a couple holding hands during the presentation and while they were talking to the speakers (together), the guy had his arm around the girl’s waist. Personally, I would not hire either of them! This was extremely unprofessional behaviour. If they were both interested in working for the company, I would have had no problems with them approaching the speakers together, so long as they were not touching each other. But you should not drag you significant other to an info session on a company for whom they have no interest whatsoever in working, let alone show affection for each other at it.
I think that this idea of minimal displays of personal affection follows for when you are wandering around campus, between buildings, though slightly less important than when you are IN buildings. For example, I see many couples in the MC foyer (on the 3rd floor outside the C&D) holding hands, hugging each other, and standing or sitting extremely close to each other in an intimate manner, which I find to be extremely inappropriate.
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