Campus Etiquette -- Manners Matter!

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With such a small campus at Emerson, we need to be more respectful of each other; in the form of campus etiquette. There are both small and large things that we as individuals can do to make the environment of our campus less chaotic and more comfortable.

Let’s start with the infamous elevator etiquette. First off, yes it’s real, and it should most definitely be put into use, especially on the Emerson campus. The rules could go on and on, but I’ll simplify elevator etiquette into two distinct categories:

Class Building Elevators


You all know the feeling of barging into Walker at 9:55, only to see a huge line in front of the elevators. Your purse is stuffed with your laptop and notebooks, and you have a coffee in one hand and that five-page paper you just ran from Piano Row to print in the other. There’s no way you’re taking the stairs to the sixth floor. And - you shouldn’t have to. It’s stressful to watch the time tick down and see all of the elevators on the ninth floor, and if we all follow these tips, the elevator traffic won’t be as crazy.

  • The most important and all-encompassing rule is to be mindful of the busy times (i.e. right before class at 10:00, 12:00, etc.). That also means not snoozing your alarm until the last possible second. Get to the elevator at least ten minutes before class starts. 
  • If you are just going to the second or third floor, please take the stairs.
  • It’s so much easier to walk down stairs than up them. There is nothing more frustrating than pressing six and having people press four and five. Be courteous, collegiettes. Walk down those one or two flights of stairs to where your class is. It will help reduce elevator hold-ups on the first floor, and you can even consider it your work-out for the day.
  • It is also a good idea to take the stairs after class instead of the elevator.

Residence Halls
Let’s take a short quiz.

Q: You walk into a Piano Row Elevator after an influx of students from class. The numbers pressed are: four, seven, 10, 12 and 14. You live on the 3rd floor. What do you do?

A. Press three.
B. Don’t press three and walk down from four.

The correct answer? B, of course. It isn’t fair to the other elevator passengers, especially to the unfortunate 14th-floor folks. I’m going to call it the “Double Down” rule. When in doubt, don’t double up the floors (pressing seven when eight is already pressed) and just walk down.


  • Again, take the stairs whenever it’s an option. But, at the same time, don’t give the people who press three a dirty look. The stairs aren’t always open and it’s kosher to press three when the only other button pressed is 10.

The Golden Rule for elevator etiquette: Don’t be lazy.

Here are some other tips for keeping our campus mindful of space:

  • Walk on the right side. Of anything. Sidewalks, doors, hallway, etc. It’s the easiest way to avoid that awkward dance with someone when you think they are going one way and you go the same and then you both have to say “oops, sorry” and go the other way at the same time.
  • DON’T stop on the stairs to have a conversation with someone or to hug them - especially to hug them. If you are going down stairs, don’t text. Yeah, you just got out of class, but you can wait to send that “I missed you so much” text to your boyfriend until you get to the first floor. It just causes traffic jams, and you really don’t want to be “that” girl to fall down the stairs for texting.

  • Don’t congregate in large groups on the sidewalk. We live on a busy couple of streets and we aren’t the only people travelling on them.
  • Be fast when printing. We all wait until the last minute, so only use the computers to print assignments. It’s fastest to e-mail yourself the assignment, so you don’t have to click through a bunch of links to find your paper.
  • To the smokers out there: be respectful of those us of that don’t smoke, and try to blow the smoke away from other people. It’s hard to hold your breath all the way from Piano Row to Ansin.

  • For those annoying lecture classrooms in Walker, the seats are so close together, so don’t take up both arm rests. Try to keep your stuff in front of you and not overflowing onto someone else’s work space.
  • The Dining Hall is packed around 6:00 P.M., so don’t linger at your table for a long time when there are others waiting to sit down and eat.
  • Be nice to the Dining Hall workers. Sure, they can give attitude sometimes, but they can also be really nice. “Please” and “thank you” are your best friends.

College is hard. We make it easier!

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About The Author

Hey Collegiettes! I'm Alicia and a senior here at Emerson College. I created my own major called Magazine Studies, incorporating the fields of journalism, publishing and marketing. I want to be a magazine journalist after college, ideally at a mag like Seventeen! I love writing profiles, reviews and about anything television and movies. I'm a sister of Sigma Pi Theta and Co-President of Emerson's community service group, Imagine.