Shut the Hell Up!

(in the library)

Since my freshman year here, I have always found the old library as a haven where I could escape from the noise and commotion of the Towers and get my work done.

During the summer of my sophomore year, the College spent millions of dollars building a new library for the students’ convenience. Excited by this new addition to campus, hundreds of students, including myself, flocked to explore it.

I find it only natural that since the library is now more aesthetically pleasing and located closer to the center of campus that the number of students who chose to study there has increased. However with this augmentation has come rudeness. Blinded by new computers and shiny windows, not to mention the group study rooms, many students have forgotten how to behave.

Though misconduct is a regular occurrence, it increased drastically during the weeks of finals. All of a sudden the library became the new hot spot, so much so that it no longer offered an academic environment, but one in which students felt right at home chatting unceasingly behind others who were trying to study. The serious scholar had no choice but to either move around desperately trying to find a quiet area or to take an entire group study room to him or herself.

Another problem that arose was that study groups were forced to conduct their meetings in the open areas, thus creating even more commotion and distractions.

Anyone who walked through the library during this time probably noticed how the extensive socializing had more in common with the student center than a place that is supposed to be reserved for intense and quiet studying.

Now, I am not advocating total silence in the library. I understand that when someone sees someone they know, they will stop and say hi, and I confess to having done so myself. However, there is no reason to be having mindless conversations for hours while others are trying to get their work done. It is inconsiderate and it shows that a great deal of the College’s students do not respect their peers.

I would like to think that the majority of the student body is intelligent and academically oriented. While I acknowledge that a social life is important, it is not the reason we go to college. Academia should take precedence, especially at “one of the nation’s most competitive schools” (as our Web site likes to promote). And quite frankly, haven’t we all been taught since we were in grammar school that when you are in the library you shut the hell up?

Emily Mari

Shame on you,


This letter is in response to the letter “Fire Exit Fiasco” from the Jan. 25 issue of The Signal. T/W is not the only place that a fire exit fiasco could arise. According to a post by “giantfireman” on tcnj.caught22.com, there is a problem in Eickhoff where the chairs are stacked in front of the door so that one of the exits is blocked. Upon eating at Eickhoff one day, I realized that this is, in fact, true. If there was an actual fire, people would be in mass chaos and would be trampled upon trying to get the chairs out of the way. It seems like Sodexho in general is violating many fire hazards and certainly the fire inspector would not be pleased to hear this. This is something that needs to be fixed before our lives are significantly affected. Hopefully something can be done before it becomes a requirement because of a student’s death.

Michael Wargo

A History of Vagueness

On Jan. 25, The Signal published an opinion piece by Michelle McGuinness telling students to watch what they say online.

As of Jan. 5, whoever posts on the Internet “without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy” could be considered a federal criminal, depending on how we construe the vague wording of a law designed to prevent violence against women.

At present, it doesn’t look like “SGA Insider” would have been prosecuted under this new law, but the imprecise language could be interpreted as criminalizing legitimate free speech on the Internet.

As an aspiring reporter and an administrator for the tcnj.caught22.com forum, I worry about the First Amendment. Congress should clarify the law’s wording so that it won’t be interpreted as restricting free speech.

And if they did intend to restrict legitimate expression? Screw ’em. I love online message boards because people have always felt free to share uncensored information and ideas, be as annoying as they’d like and post under pseudonyms or as guests. (Our site is not too worried about the “annoyance” law. However, libel, threats and harassment are still illegal, so watch yourself.)

If you annoy people with anonymous writings, like Thomas Paine did with “Common Sense,” it is worth going to jail for. As the law stands, they can’t send you for more than two years anyway.

Encouraging people to commit a federal crime is probably a bad idea, but, as McGuinness says, “It’s OK to annoy someone. It’s OK to disagree.” I couldn’t agree more.

Jake Remaly

Order on the Court

This past Friday, my girlfriend and I went to the Rec. Center to play basketball. She was very excited about it, and for the first few minutes, she was definitely happy. However, that happiness quickly took a downward turn.

On the other half of our court was a group of 10 guys. We didn’t think too much of it at the time because we had our half and they had their half. The universe was balanced. But, in the next few minutes, they gradually reduced the barrier.

They came up to us and asked if we could move to another court because they wanted to play on a full court. Ordinarily we would have said yes, but the other courts were taken. What business did we have to intrude on others’ games?

So we said no. Then one guy became insistent and told us that since they had more people, they should get the full court. Again, we told him no and said we wouldn’t be playing for much longer. We thought that was the end of it.

But then they started a game, and they played on our side of the court, as if we weren’t even there. We were not about to leave, especially given the fact that we were there first and that we had the same right to be there as anyone else.

We tried to play a game in between them, trying to coexist, but then the same guy impolitely told us to leave because they had more people than we did. “Ten against two, we win.” My girlfriend was overwhelmed and didn’t like the confrontation, so she just cursed and we left.

We complained to the front desk, but they couldn’t do much. They specifically told us that it is first-come-first-serve, and when it’s open basketball, smaller groups have to step aside and let larger groups take the court. Bottom line, we only got to play for about 20 minutes and left extremely disappointed and upset.

The purpose of this letter is not for vindication or even revenge. I don’t think it is fair that a group of two gets kicked off a court because there is a larger group who wants to use the full court. It wasn’t intramurals, it was open basketball. No group can reasonably expect to get full court time during open court.

If you want to be guaranteed a full-court game, sign up for intramurals. If you come in and all eight courts are full, ask if you can join another group or just wait your turn.

Another injustice is the implication that a game of 10 people is more important than two people shooting hoops. If a group of 10 guys suddenly walked onto the courts and found that all the courts were in use, does that mean that two half-court games will be kicked out?

So what’s it going to be? Is it going to be open courts for everyone? Or is it going to be closed courts for the larger groups? Think about it.

Tim Serabian