Consider those around you
By Glauce Fleury, Contributor
When you decide to go to the library or to one of the computer labs at Douglas College, what’s your main purpose? This is a question I’d like to ask every student in this institution, if I were doing research on the usage of those spaces. As I’m not a researcher, I’ll leave this question here so that those of you who read this piece can think about it.
I’ll probably never know what your responses would be, but I’m going to tell you mine. I use the library to study, or to go to one of the hopefully empty computer labs. To me, there’s no benefit to using the upper floor of the New Westminster library—a quiet space where no talking is permitted—simply because I need a computer.
I know the library is also used by study groups, and study groups need to talk. However, most of the time when I’m at the library I see people getting together, laughing out loud, and talking about a variety of subjects. Trust me when I say these subjects have nothing to do with the college. Even when two people are working together on a computer—and I know they need to talk—can’t they use a lower tone of voice?
“The main floor of each library does tend to be more noisy than a strictly quiet study area,” says Debbie Schachter, Learning Resources Director, the department that comprises the Library and the Learning Centre. “This is acceptable provided the noise does not become excessive, but we do request that students be respectful of others and keep noise down when talking or studying in groups.”
Then how to know these limits? Behaving as we expect others to behave; that is, putting ourselves in others’ shoes. I don’t believe these students like noise when they are studying, so they should provide some silence for their peers.
One evening, I decided to look for a computer in one of the labs because I needed to finish an assignment. When I arrived there around 8 p.m., it was empty. I was glad, as I needed to write a critical analysis for one of my courses and it required a lot of thinking. Some minutes later, a student came in, talking on his cell phone as if he was the only creature on earth. He turned on a computer and started watching videos on YouTube. His voice got louder, and he never hung up, so I left. What he was doing there if he didn’t want to study isn’t my business, but his behavior interrupted my study.
Something very similar also happened to me at the start of the year. I was in the smaller room on the main level of the library when a guy sat next to me. He was watching videos and suddenly started to sing—loudly.
I believe it’s really important to socialize because life’s not just about studying. I really love to spend time with my friends and when I meet them by chance in one of the study places, I talk to them quickly, arrange some talk for later, and move on. Am I unreasonable?