Hallway to hell

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It only took me three weeks to lose my sanity.

It’s not the school work – I am generally on top of that. It’s not the excessive reading – I love reading in all its forms. It’s not the fact I am working two jobs or going back to the farm when I can to help with harvest. No, it’s is the fact grown adults at the University of Regina don’t seem to understand the concept of walking in the hallways in an efficient and polite manner.

And that’s what students at the U of R are – grown adults. We should be able to understand the simple, logical rules of walking in the halls of our institution of higher learning. And yet it seems, year after year, students cannot figure it out. There are so many irritating things people do while walking it is astounding there aren’t more homicides in the halls of the U of R.

The first thing irritating about the hallways has to be the people who stop in the middle of the hallway to chat with their friends. These are the people who believe it’s acceptable to inconvenience every other student because they and their friends haven’t seen each other in an hour and need to catch up on all the developments in each other’s lives.

I’m not against socializing, but I do believe there is a time and a place for it, and that place is not the middle of a bustling hallway. If you see your friend, or a group of your friends, don’t just stop and impede the flow of busy students; move to the side of the hall or into one of the many areas of the university offered to people for studying or socializing.

If you are, however, going to stop in the middle of the hallway, don’t do it at “chokepoints” around the university. I’m speaking mostly of narrow sections of hallway and doorways. At least if you are blocking a wide hallway by standing in the middle of it, people can move around on either side of you. If you stand in a doorway, there’s nowhere for walkers to go but through you, awkwardly interrupting your conversation.

The second irritating thing about walking in the halls is “slow walkers”: people walking around for no discernible reason and doing so at a pace so leisurely it makes my granny look like Usain Bolt. These walkers tend to cluster as well, making huge, slow-moving masses of students that block the hallways for people who actually have somewhere to go, like to class or to a meeting.

Again, I am not against walking slowly, but I do truly believe there is a time and place for it, and that would be outside on the green or in Wascana Park. It’s much nicer and more scenic to be walking outside than it is to be walking in the halls of the university, so if you want to have an enjoyable walk, get out of the hallways and out of the way of people who have places to be.

A third irritating thing is the people who walk down the wrong side of the hallway. I know some will argue there is no “wrong” side of the hallway, but in order to make things efficient and navigable, people need – and I stress need – to walk on the right-hand side of the hallway. It’s just like driving. If everyone just drove on the wrong side of the road whenever it was convenient, there’d be mass chaos, so why do people think it is acceptable to walk on the wrong side of the hallway? You’re being a nuisance, you are running the risk of a head-on collision with someone, and you are forcing people to move out of your way.

And walking down the wrong side of the hallway is not suddenly made acceptable if you are walking very slowly and looking apologetic. It makes it worse. You know you are doing something wrong and are doing it anyway. When a hallway is busy, there is no excuse to walk against the flow of traffic. As irritating as it is, you might have to wait behind a group of slow walkers if there is no room to pass.

And, if you insist on walking down the left side of the hallway, you should be the one who moves out of the way of anyone who’s walking on the right side. Don’t play chicken with people in the proper lane – it makes you look immature and self-absorbed, as if you don’t notice you are forcing someone to scrape along the wall so you can walk on the wrong side of the hall.

Finally, be careful of blind corners. Too many people think they can cut corners at various locations around the university, but the most irritating one is in College West near All Souped Up. It is a totally blind corner around which no one can see, and yet some insist on taking the corner sharp to save time when they are walking from College West into Riddell This only results in people almost running into each other at that corner. So, if you are walking from College West into Riddell, take a wide corner and have a little courtesy for the people walking the other way.

These are logical rules and everyone should follow them. If people would, the halls would be an efficient and courteous place, and I wouldn’t be losing my sanity and my faith in humanity every time I step out of a classroom and try to navigate the chaos that is some hallways at the U of R.

Edward Dodd
Op-Ed Editor

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