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Eating in Class

Genna Apfel

  Texting, tweeting, and talking in a classroom are behaviors that are considered to be rude. Eating, crunching, and snacking are rude too, right? Although food is a necessity, the question we must ask ourselves is, “Is it disrespectful to eat in class while your professor is lecturing?”

There are two types of students who do this. One group brings Subway sandwiches, sushi, and mom’s leftover dinner from last night to class, causing the classroom to have an unpleasant smell. They are the students who open up their food in class and the packaging makes an irritating crinkling noise, and can disrupt the class. Then you have the students who’d rather snack on a granola bar or bagel, or some other foods that draw less attention.

We may look at this and wonder, “Do students have proper college classroom etiquette?”  This all comes down to exercising our personal freedom. In this case, it is eating, but it seems that some college students don’t know where to draw the line. Some students who are not sure what their professor allows, may automatically assume it is okay. It is ironic because we are taught “proper manners” at a dinner table, including placing a napkin on our laps, and eating with our mouths closed, but we may forget those manners when it comes to a classroom.  With that said, some college students expect their professors to tolerate them drinking a cup of coffee in a morning class, or bringing food to a night class because they have no other time to eat. In reality, this is not proper behavior. In fact, some professors consider this to be unacceptable and in poor taste, literally.

Some professors allow students to eat in class, while others do not.  For example, Christopher Dodrill, Professor of Electronic Media, said “I do not mind if a student brings a cup of coffee to class.  I don’t like students bringing in a shopping bag full of food.”  Dr. Steve Hollander, Professor of Health Education said “I don’t mind students eating in class as long as they don’t make a mess, but because I teach health classes, I prefer that their choices are healthy. I sometimes make comments if they are having sugared drinks and foods high in fats and simple carbs. Foods like Subway sandwiches do not bother me.  If I make a comment, it’s about the quality of the food.”

Marissa Santomaso, Senior Public Relations major said, “ I feel quiet snacks are appropriate. Students should not bring smelly foods like tuna, or foods that are crunchy, because they are such a distraction to everyone else that is trying to concentrate in the class. However, I think that students should not eat food in classroom in general.” Emily Anker, Senior and Business Management major added, “I do bring food to class, but I will only bring foods like granola bars or mini muffins, because they are not smelly or loud. Last week, a girl was eating a bag of chips and the plastic kept making the most annoying sound. This is something that is not only distracting, but I feel disgusting to do in front of a professor.”

Clearly, eating in class reflects your attitudes and behaviors. Apparently, some students have more manners than others. Here are some pointers of what NOT to eat in classroom.

1.If you know your going to bring food that is wrapped in tinfoil or a loud bag of chips, please, do us all    a favor and open it before walking into class.

2.Try to avoid foods that give off a weird stench. Students typically don’t want to guess what you’re        eating when your food is filling the air with a strange aroma. We would rather concentrate on our      notes.

3. If you are not sure if your professor allows you to eat in class, the respectful thing to do is to ask him        or her.

4. Lastly, if you know you are going to be eating something in

class, at least offer your friends some food; we’re hungry too.

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