Dear PA Students,
As many of you are aware, the library has started allowing snacks and beverages into the library.
However, new freedoms are rarely free. In this case, students have been asked to display some responsibility with their food choices and the trash such food generates—recognizing this as a privilege and acting accordingly.
Any cultural shift requires a period for “growing pains” and new understandings. In that sense, it is my hope that our student body will recognize and embody the spirit of the new rules allowing some snacks and beverages (apple, powerbar, coffee, etc…) while concomitantly not turning the library into a bistro, restaurant or subsidiary of Commons.
Unfortunately, we cannot make signs that list all of the allowable and “disallowable” foods in the library. Instead, we are relying on students to determine the appropriateness of the food items. However, the potential fatal flaw in this change is the same thing that makes it possible–individual judgment.
Unfortunately for everyone, if students follow the already growing trend (it’s only been three days) of not taking care of their trash, bringing in “meals”, hot food, or Commons dishes and arguing with proctors, I suspect the trial period will be very short and the OWHL will return to a reinvigorated policy of disallowing all food/beverages from the library. As one of the initial supporters of this controversial change in policy, I would hate to see this happen.
Yet if students show they are not ready for the burdens of individual judgment and the notion of new responsibilities with new consequences, I will respect that and enforce a policy of NO—a concept much easier to understand.
I hope that all students will become leaders/supporters of this new policy—not those that hope to thwart or subvert it.
I do not underestimate the ability of students to exercise excellent judgment. Whether you choose to exercise that ability will be up to you. Every student’s actions in regard to this policy will determine its future.
Associate Director for Instructional Services
Oliver Wendell Holmes Library
The opinions/thoughts expressed here are mine and do not reflect a group thought by the OWHL or other individual members of the staff.