Gumberg grievances: study with courtesy

By Duke Staff

Students of Duquesne, where have our manners gone?

Gumberg Library recently announced a new policy for finals week: Students who leave their unattended belongings on tables in the library for too long will have their items confiscated and held at the front counter for pick-up. This is the library staff’s latest effort in its battle against students who use their backpacks, coats and laptops to reserve library tables for hours at a time, while they go to classes or get food. The problem was so severe last spring that students wandered up and down library floors, looking for empty tables, only to find every table filled with students or stuff.

The fact that the library staff will now have to use their time policing the library’s aisles, timing students’ absences and hauling away belongings is ludicrous. How did we let things get this bad? It seems common courtesy is absent from our student body.

Finals week is difficult for everyone. Every student is desperately trying to complete a mountain of projects and papers, while studying furiously and remembering to eat and sleep. It can be challenging to find the perfect place to get work done, and the library’s large tables and easily-accessible printers certainly make it a desirable studying destination. Why would you seek to deny your fellow students the opportunity to work there? They are having a week just as bad as yours, if not worse.

We would be remiss not to point out the irony of this problem in the midst of the Christmas season. Regardless of your faith, Christmas is a time to show kindness to your fellow man, not to commandeer people’s study areas.

If you are working in the library and need to leave — for food or class or a nap — take your things with your and return later. If every table is taken, find another place to study! Try the Barnes & Noble cafe on Forbes Avenue or go off campus. The Beehive Cafe or the Starbucks on East Carson Street are both great alternatives to the library.

We are a community here at Duquesne, and just like other communities, ours has unwritten rules that make things nicer for everyone. Just like you don’t litter all over your neighborhood or cut in line at Wal-Mart, don’t hog library tables for hours at a time. If we all use the library for a couple hours, then leave so someone else can have a chance to study, things will run more efficiently for everyone. And your librarians will thank you.

Sharing is caring, after all.