Over the course of five minutes, 26 students swiped into the Upper Quadrangle gate and rushed past the stationary security guard, who was staring blankly ahead.
One, however, slowed her stride to grin at the guard, who nodded in return, appearing grateful for a bit of warm kindness as gusts of wind attacked his Plexiglass cabin.
This casually collected data supports a Travel and Leisure poll which claims that Philadelphia is the third rudest city in America. Penn students and employees, however, object to these official findings.
Although the majority of freshmen rushed into the Quad this Tuesday, there are always exceptions. College freshman Alex Klein makes a point of stopping to exchange a few words of sports talk with Quad AlliedBarton security guard Maxie Diggs because “it’s respectful.” After all, “they’re out here in the cold protecting us.”
Klein believes that a little bit of kindness goes a long way, as friendliness “lets people know that we are thankful for what they do.”
Reciprocally, Diggs has found that when “students have had a rough day,” a humorous exchange lightens up their mood. Diggs has observed that although students are constantly in a rush, “most say good morning,” although “they make it very brief.”
At Penn, there are sundry opinions about what is acceptable social conduct.
Diggs holds upbringing accountable for students’ friendliness or lack thereof. He was brought up to believe that making conversation was not only polite but almost mandatory. “It’s a shame that people feel that you need to know them to speak to them,” he said.
College freshman Amy Beauchamp, a native of Houston, finds that origin and environment also influence a person’s standards of what is socially acceptable.
Beauchamp sees truth in the “more relaxed” Southern stereotype and finds that students from the urban North are accustomed to being “in a rush” because “they were raised in a more cutthroat environment.”
New York native and Wharton freshman Zander Berlinski added that New Yorkers, for instance, “are less patient because they are used to everything being done more quickly.” It is perhaps not surprising that according to the Travel and Leisure poll, Los Angeles, followed by New York, leads the country in unfriendliness.
Modern technology is perhaps a culprit in the redefinition of social etiquette, according to some. Whereas many parents find it rude when a student texts at dinner, College freshman Arthur Cohen said that “talking to a friend while you have your earphones in is now so common that it is no longer considered rude.”Comments powered by Disqus
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