Yes, this is necessary. Yes, I am just complaining about extremely frivolous things. Am I using my position as opinions editor for a student newspaper to complain about said frivolous things? Also yes.
Us seniors have seen a thing or two. Indeed, we’ve been here longer than most students (we are at your mercy, superseniors) and have been able to observe things that range from mildly annoying to completely taboo. Clurg is the shining example of this: four years of eating at the same place tends to do that to you. For this reason, I have compiled a brief list of “rules of etiquette” from both myself and other seniors about the topic. They are as follows:
1. Don’t Congregate in Tight, High Traffic Spaces
Clurg is at times the beating heart of social interaction throughout the weekdays, so it’s understandable to be excited when you see your friends and want to talk.
With that being said, in a lot of cases these interactions occur in high-traffic areas, leading to groups forming within important bottlenecks across Clurg. One example of this is the Clurg dish return line, which is already a tight enough space under normal circumstances. But when a group of people decides to congregate at either of the entrances, or, worse yet, next to the dish return itself, it blocks out students who are just trying to return their dishes and get out.
The best suggestion for this is to simply move out of the way. The atrium has plenty of space (just don’t crowd up next to the front desk), or just take the conversation outside or to your table. Just be aware of your surroundings.
2. Fill Your High-Volume Water Bottles Before Arriving
This is one that is especially grating to me and many other seniors. Clurg has a very limited number of places where you can get water, and at times the lines to get water can be longer than the lines to get food. Part of this is, of course, the fact that sometimes they run out of water or the dispensers go at a snail’s pace. But part of this also revolves around students bringing their high-volume water bottles into Clurg to fill up.
Nothing is more painful than waiting behind someone who is attempting to fill their giant water bottle while the dispensers are barely flowing. Instead of doing this, fill your water bottle before arriving at Clurg; there are about a million different places across campus where this is more than possible. If you do choose to continue filling your water bottle at Clurg, at least stand aside, rather than right in front of the dispenser, so others can go around you to use the other dispenser.
3. Pick Up Your Omelet Order (and don’t take other’s)
This is completely self-explanatory. Just pick up your order and don’t take other’s. What’s the point of ordering an omelet if you’re never going to pick it up?
4. Put Caps Back on the Hot Sauce
Again, this is completely self-explanatory. If you can take the cap off, you can put it back on. No one wants congealed hot sauce.
5. DO NOT USE A TRAY
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
In all seriousness, I have no idea where this “rule” came from, nor for what purpose it serves. Your guess is as good as mine. This “rule” has existed since we were freshmen, and likely long before we even came here, where upperclassmen would tell us in so many words, “If you use a tray, you’re a psychopath.”
Why? Who knows. Trays can be rather utilitarian if you’re in a pinch, but apparently, they have been a taboo long before we ever came to the Mountain. I am simply including it within these rules since it’s a piece of “etiquette” that has its roots in the marrow of upperclassmen Clurg guidelines (and also it’s pretty funny).
6. Don’t Sit at a Long Table by Yourself
Clurg is a place where you can easily choose to eat alone, within small groups, or if you’re in a fraternity, sorority, or sports organization, in a horde. Luckily for us, Clurg has seating options that benefit both the individual and the horde, and more often than not there is plenty of seating to go around.
The seating options at Clurg are pretty straightforward. If you are eating alone or as a couple, there are tables with two seats. If you’re in a small group, there are those with upwards of four to six (or more). And if you’re in a horde, the long tables will usually accommodate your group quite well.
But if you’re eating alone, don’t go out of your way to sit at a long table that would otherwise be used for large groups. Just use common sense.
7. Clean Up Your Mess at Your Table
No one wants to sit at a table that has had a metric ton of salt poured all over its surface, and no one really wants to have to clean that up.
We’re not in preschool anymore. If you’re going to use the salt shaker as a shake weight, be courteous and clean up after yourself. Don’t expect someone to come up behind you to clean up after you; that’s just rude and rather narcissistic. Buss your own dishes and clean up your mess. It’s pretty easy.
Lastly, and most importantly:
8. Say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’ (or just be kind)
Look, I get it. Sometimes in our lives we are simply in a rush to go about our day. Perhaps some of us are still reeling from the antisocial tendencies that emerged during the COVID years. Maybe you’re just really, really tired from standing in line during Taco Tuesday (especially at 12:15).
But it takes no more than a second to put a “please” and “thank you” into your order. Instead of saying, “Can I have some orange chicken (or the even more horrific ‘GIVE ME SOME ORANGE CHICKEN’),” say, “Can I have some orange chicken please.” Easy. Simple. Succinct. Friendly.
Just remember that the Clurg staff are not your servants. They are, just as your fellow students and professors, valuable members of this community. If you can thank your professor after class for providing food for thought, then you can thank those who give you your food for consumption.