Opinion: Common courtesy isn’t so common anymore


(Photo Illustration by Karen Reay)

Barbara Harvey

Walking through the halls of American River College while being assaulted with music blaring from a speaker embedded in a student’s backpack has become a common campus experience as of late—proving that unfortunately, common courtesy is not so common anymore.

Here’s the issue: At an institution of higher learning, the environment dictates a certain degree of respect for your fellow students. Forcing them to listen to your terrible music at excessively high decibels shows a complete disregard of courtesy, and furthermore, suggests a self-centered attitude.

Students could be speaking to a friend, talking on the phone or quietly studying, but suddenly be interrupted by one person’s narcissistic insistence that they must be subjected to their whims.

Students at ARC can be punished for “continued disruptive behavior,” or “obstruction or disruption of teaching, research, administrative or other college activities,” according to the Los Rios Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook.

ARC is a public campus, meaning that, with some exceptions, as mentioned above and in the handbook, students have a right to free expression, guaranteed under the First Amendment.

Granted, while a nuisance, loud music in the hallways may not constitute “disruptive behavior.”

However, it is certainly rude.

When rude behavior can’t be policed by the school, it falls on all of us to police our own behavior and set standards for acceptable behavior in others.

If we allow others to act only with self-interest to the annoyance of those around them, common courtesy goes out the window.

Unfortunately, the decline of common courtesy is becoming steeper as new technology allows for more isolation.

On a campus of 30,000, basic courtesy is essential for peaceful co-existence, and can go a long way in making our time here more pleasant.

So please, fellow students. Be cognizant of how your behavior affects others. Don’t let politeness die.