September 10, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 7  

Front Page >> Editorial & Opinions > If you can't walk the walk...


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If you can't walk the walk...

On the DL
By: David Lee

Sports Editor

It's early in the school year, but it's already happening.

People are causing traffic jams campus-wide. They're crawling along at a snail's pace, wandering aimlessly down a walkway and stopping to socialize while others frantically make their way to class.

With that in mind, I feel it's time for the annual "learn how to walk on campus" primer to be published. So listen up all of you bad pedestrians out there, please pay attention to the following:

Treat the walkways on campus as you would a road. That means at all times, stick to the right-hand side and proceed cautiously. Take it easy, go with the flow and always establish a good minimum eye lead-time (MELT). People walking all over the place is the cause of most traffic congestion.

If you see someone you know in a congested area, don't stop to chat. This slows things down drastically for anyone around you. The best way to acknowledge the other person is with a nod, a wave or the classic "Hey." At this point, as the distance between you and your friend closes, you may ready one of your hands to perform the fabled Zack Morris/AC Slater exchange. Clap your hand together with your friend's as you approach, form a fist as you pass and release and snap your fingers as you part. You can also try the Top Gun high five/low five combo, though you'll look like an ass if you screw it up.

Nobody likes the slow guy in front. The worst instances of this occur at one of the many choke points on campus, so named because these are the areas where one is most likely to throttle the offending pedestrian. A particularly bad choke point is at the junction of Social Science and Concrete Beach, so all I can suggest is keep to the right. And whoever has his or her finger on the proverbial button - please finish Concrete Beach soon.

Pay attention to your surroundings. In the military, the ability to keep tabs on your immediate environment is called "situational awareness." While you're not a soldier and Western is a far cry from a battlefield, please be aware of your surroundings. Don't cut other people off, don't walk on others' heels and watch where you swing your arms.

Hopefully the University Students' Council can cook up some sort of webcam system whereby students can check on-campus traffic before leaving their residence or place of business. Barring that, just have some courtesy for your also-late-for-class fellow students.




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