RYERSON’S UNSPOKEN LAWS OF ETIQUETTE

In Arts & Life /

By Amanda Cupido

Toronto citizens abide by a certain set of rules. They are never explained before entering the city bubble but when on campus, in the Eaton’s Centre or in residence, there seems to be a general understanding by Ryerson students. While the consequences of ignoring these rules may not be the tarring and feathering of colonial times, nobody wants to be a social outcast. In the spirit of that, let’s get some of these important rules down on paper.

1. Cross the street at your own will

Students have come to claim Gould Street as their own territory. They cross at their own will; rarely paying attention to the cars let alone crosswalks.

“I cross Gould whenever I want,” says Stefania Scarfo, a second-year RTA student. “Who cares if it’s the middle of the road? I need to go to class.”

However this rule only applies on Gould Street. When in other parts of Toronto, it is simply not accepted to take your time while crossing the road, especially when j-walking

2. Keep to yourself on the subway

During rush hour the subway can be busy and crammed with people. But at any other time, the subway should be a pleasant ride. But even so, there are rules with regard to personal space.

“Everyone should make an effort to keep their body parts away from other people,” says Scarfo. Recently Scarfo was on the subway with her friend when a man sat beside her friend on the subway and made no effort to avoid the leg-on-leg contact.

“It was rude,” she says. “I made a comment and people around me were agreeing.”

3. Wait until everyone has left the elevator before getting on

In residence especially, it’s rude to pile into the elevator as soon as the doors open, trapping the people who need to get out.

“It pisses me off,” says Emma Smith, a first-year arts and contemporary studies student. “The other day I gave this girl the evil eye when she did it to me.”

Smith was too frustrated to explain the rule to the clueless student. Hopefully she’s reading this article. Giving ample time and space for elevator transitions is a must.

4. Put your phone on vibrate

When you’re in class, it’s common to bring your cell phone.

Obviously it’s necessary to receive text message updates from friends regarding relationship statuses, upcoming events or anything that Facebook might not see for at least a half an hour. That’s cool. Receiving calls in class is not. Having someone’s Flo Rida ringtone blaring in class and then watching them scramble and stupidly apologize is annoying.

“Everyone hates that person,” says Joel Vautour, a fourth-year RTA student.

5. Bump into people on the street and don’t apologize

Cydnie Kalkhourst, a first-year RTA student from Windsor, was accustomed to the streets of her hometown. She explains that it was common courtesy to apologize after accidentally bumping into someone, but in Toronto there are different rules.

“You bump into someone but by the time you turn around to apologize they are 20 steps away already,” Kalkhourst says. “We are bumper cars in these streets.”

It seems that people don’t have time to apologize. Wasting an extra breath to say “sorry” simply isn’t worth it these days.

6. Walk left, stand right

Escalators are taking over Toronto. If you haven’t noticed, they appear to have two lanes. The right side is for those who wish to stand and be brought up without wasting an ounce of energy. The left lane is for those who are in a hurry or are trying to make up for the lack of exercise and wish to walk up the escalator. If standing on the left side, expect to be yelled at.

“I had an old Italian man curse at me under his breath,” says Kalkhourst. “At first I thought I stepped on his toe or caused him to have a minor heart attack.”

Shocked and confused by his reaction, she began to see she had broken a critical escalator rule. “I avoid confrontation on the escalators. It’s a serious place.”

7. Don’t take the elevator for one floor

In residence or in the Library Building, it’s frowned upon to use the elevator out of laziness instead of necessity. Kalkhourst is a residence student and strongly follows this rule.

“I will say something to people if they are going less than three floors,” she says. “I will tell them to get out immediately and I will hold the door until they do so.”

People like Scarfo will even go as far as scamming the system in order to avoid complaints. “I hobble or make a groaning noise when I go up one floor,” she explains. “I feel guilty but it doesn’t stop me.”

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