Eating in study spaces is a regular activity for every student; we all must study, we all must eat, so naturally these two activities will overlap quite frequently. Given the fact that this daily habit is not going to change any time soon, it’s time, I think, to set some ground rules for eating in shared spaces.
We’re all guilty of it – we’ve all had food that we know is too loud to be eating in the Leung Gallery or too smelly to be consuming in the stacks of the Rock. I’m not naïve enough to believe that this is going to stop, though I think it’s time to call attention to some very-necessary study space eating etiquette.
Abolition or revolution is not necessary, but all I ask is for a deeper consideration of how what you eat affects those around you. There is a spectrum of acceptable study snacks, with the priority placed on choosing food that is quiet and that does not give off an odor that can be smelled from 20 feet away (I’m looking at you Kabob and Curry, Soban, Shanghai, Chipotle – wow, Thayer Street has a lot of stinky offerings). In addition to the obvious distraction that comes with the deafening crunch of potato chips, the overwhelmingly pungent smell of your bibimbap from Mama Kim’s makes me a) hungry, b) nauseous, and c) unable to focus on anything other than the nostril flaring and stomach grumbling that my body subconsciously engages in.
Next time you’re strategizing your meals for your midterm study binge, consider the sensorial vulnerabilities of your neighbors. A Blue Room muffin, a bagel, an orange, a turkey sandwich, salad, just as some examples, are ideal – they’re quiet to consume and relatively odorless. Kimchi, on the other hand, is simply not appropriate for the library; it’s just a fact.