Dirty dishes left behind for cafeteria staff in King's Prince Hall. Photo by: Lindsay Morey


Commentary: Brazen behaviour and bad manners of first-years in King's dining hall

First-year students forgot to pack their manners when they moved to King's


Bad manners of some University of King's College's first-year students is a standard side-order with every meal in Prince Hall. Having dined there for almost three months, I can say without a doubt, first-years are completely clueless when it comes to having good manners.  
I never thought being five years older than most of the students there would make such a difference - but it does.

This generation is self-absorbed, has a sense of entitlement and is oblivious to others around them. Almost all of them are in their own worlds and could care less about people around them. This is especially obvious by the way first-years navigate around the cafe. Sometimes it can be as bad as being on expressway. People will cut in front of you because they are caught up in conversation with someone on the other side of the room. 

The bad manners witnessed on a weekly-basis include:

  • Students leaving their dirty dishes and food debris strewn over the table.
     (Prince Hall staff are not there to clean up after pigs)
  • First-years opening the mini fridge door and almost smacking people in the face.
  • Guys leaning back on their chairs talking to the people at the table behind them.
     (again blocking any way to pass through)
  • Girls stopping randomly in mid-walk to talk with friends in front of the entrance to hot food line.
     (creating a cluster of roadblocks)
  • Two or more people trying to use the drink machine at once. It doesn't take that long to press the ice button and a drink button, patience is a virtue - wait 10 seconds for your turn.
  • People throwing food. 
    (This is ironic because all the napkin holders have signage stating, "Take what you like, eat all you take! -- On average 26 million tons of food is wasted annually.")

Anecdotes of bad manners

Only last week I came across a guy standing in front of both water coolers, talking aimlessly on his cellphone. Holding an empty glass, I politely said excuse me... which didn't work because he was chatting loudly to his 'bro'. I then raised my eyebrows and shot him the 'what the hell are you doing? MOVE!' look. Eventually he clued into reality and noticed how much of a roadblock he was being and haphazardly moved aside -- no apology given. 

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First-years eating lunch in Prince Hall. Note a few with their chairs pushed out too far. Photo by: Lindsay Morey

It's ironic how first-years throw food around in Prince Hall when the napkin holders have signs stating, "Take what you like, eat all you take. On average 26 million tons of food is wasted annually."

Every once in a while, three random guys decide to put on a scene by screaming and pushing each other. They're so loud you're forced to stop eating to check to see if they're possessed or not. Last time this happened one of the guys yelled, "God! What is wrong with you!?," which was ironic because I was thinking the same thing. Maybe they're in the theatre program, but I don't go to the cafe for dinner and a show.

At least once a week, myself or my floor mates have problems with people having their chairs pushed out too far. It was so bad once, one girl sitting behind me had her chair all the way out, putting her knees against her table. On the opposite side, I was sucked into the table, lacking decent room to move. There's a fine line between being comfortable and being rude. Another time, trying to pass through two chairs pushed against each other between tables, my floormate asked a girl to move in a little. The sitting priss had the nerve to look at my friend with the glare 'how dare you ask me to move?'

My hope for the future of good manners

I'm not asking for the first-years to take etiquette classes, but a simple "please", "thank-you" and "excuse me", and being aware of what's going on around them can go a long way. I can only hope by the end of their four years at King's, students will learn not only about English lit. and philosophy, but how to behave and treat other people.

Comments on this story are now closed

Commentary should be grounded in fact, not speculation and stereotyping. How do you know that the behaviour you witnessed is from first-year students? Many different groups eat at Prince Hall. You characterize one behaviour as typical of "guys" and another as typical of "girls." Really? Is the gender differentiation that clear? Broad generalizations about a "generation" are rarely substantiated and tend to be a sign of sloppy journalism. That said, if you are only five years older than those you are criticizing, you are also part of that generation. (The definition of the term is 20 to 30 years.) Bad cafeteria manners is an issue worthy of commentary, but this would have been so much stronger without the sweeping insults.

Posted by Kelly Toughill | Nov 25, 2021

I'm not an expert when it comes to this. Didn't even know this was possible. Useful read, appreciate your posting this.

Posted by Financial planning | Nov 29, 2021