Volume 94, Issue 18


Western hyped for Laurier

With open eyes beware

Western looking to host 2001 Vanier Cup

With open eyes beware

By Jessica Leeder

Gazette Staff

I think the best way to do this is to start out by saying that I'm not really a bitch. Probably the word 'tyrant' is better suiting. Or if you're looking for an adjective, 'irate' in a mild sense would do the trick. I'm not overzealous, I don't have an inflated self-image, but an opinion – on just about everything.

I'm not really sure how I feel about devoting my first column to the issue of sidewalk etiquette, but it is definitely something that must be addressed.

Every morning I walk to class, much like many other students living both on and off campus at this university. I won't get much more personal other than to say I come from the direction of the University Drive gates on Richmond.

Now, if you get out that wonderful campus map the administration has been so thoughtful to print on the back of nearly every piece of information they have ever sent to you, you will surely notice that on my path to class each day I encounter the one-laned bridge on University Drive. It is important to note here that my daily encounter with this bridge is usually on foot – I don't own a bike, nor do I blade during peak traffic times so as not to induce road rage.

My walk to campus is still never stress-free.

The minute I set foot on that bridge, I feel my heart rate start to rise and it's not because I'm out of shape. It has been my experience that oncoming walkers bear many similarities to mindless cows, ambling in a giant mass in one direction with their heads down. Put another way: So many goddamn people run straight into me it makes me want to grab everyone who bumps me and shake them.

Further inflating my irritation, I am finding more and more, that these incidents are not confined just to the bridge. It used to be that I could accept a little shoulder rubbing on the bridge – it's a small space to walk. But it really doesn't matter where on campus I am walking, I get bumped into and shoved so many times a day I would need an abacus to add up a weekly total.

And it's not that I bruise easily, nor is that I have a short, blend-into-the-crowd build. I'm 5'10 with a nasty look on my face, so you'd think people would – at least by a small margin – get the hell out of my way.

So let's talk courtesy.

The wonderful world of Western is said to be so sophisticated with a ton of home-grown money, snobby elitism and prestige. But why the hell doesn't anyone have any manners? In my opinion, the student body at large, has a sheer lack of knowledge concerning proper sidewalk etiquette.

I can accept the fact that there are some parents out there who have never mustered the balls or the know-how, to teach their offspring manners. However, is it not common sense – or even plain old physics – that the density of a human body amounts to more than that of air? Walk around us, for god's sake – not into us!

My patience for those people who walk around campus with their heads down and their manners tucked neatly up their behinds is nearing the point of no return.

It's my prediction that those of us who walk with our heads up, will eventually succumb to our significantly darker alter egos, and do very, very bad things to them. Stay tuned.

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