We Stand Corrected: Adjusting Another’s Behavior

Frustrated on Larchwood Av­enue as a driver fails to abide by the four-way stop, you have a split second decision to roll down your window to express your anger or you can simply accept another careless act of driving. Unfortunately, in today’s crazed world of political correctness, we hesitate to say what we really think in fear of being chastised ,or worse.

“Keeping your opinion to your­self will refrain you from contro­versy,” said junior communica­tion major Danielle Rakowitz. A lot of times we are forced to bite our tongue in some pretty terrible situations. So when should we speak up about our grievances? And what stops us from truly conveying our thoughts?

Rakowitz said, “It’s appropri­ate when something needs to be addressed and changed.”

In matters of public safety, like witnessing a fender bender or an intoxicated stranger attempt­ing to start their car is without a doubt the best time to speak up. But addressing an issue simply because it is bothersome to us is something we can’t commit to.

President Paul Gaffney II said, “There are so many scenarios that it is impossible to make and re­member a rule for each. As one matures (this includes all stu­dents, I think) one is able to ap­ply his or her best judgment to the situation based on general principles.”

Gaffney offered a few of these principles:

1.) Students come to each oth­er’s aid when needed and speak up when someone is being treated disrespectfully by fellow stu­dents.

2.) Simply standing by when safety is involved is inexcusable.

3.) Experts such as residential administrators, counselors and health professionals can help when a student is unsure but wor­ried about a situation concerning another student.

“Many times I have heard that a student has approached an ad­ministrator because he or she saw something troubling. In most cases the situation was resolved without anyone suffering,” said Gaffney.

He added, “There is a fine line between being a tattle-tale or butting in and getting some help. If there is real danger, one should act.”

Ever taken an exam next to a student sounding obviously un­oreoared? Clearly their inability to study for the test is demon­strated through an over empha­sis of exhales and a series of fist pounds to their desk. Did anyone say anything or did the class se­cretly pretend like they weren’t distracted by their classmate’s tantrum?

It’s the classic observation of watching a child acting up in pub­lic and parents who completely neglect the situation. You watch the child scream, arms flailing, and the look on your face says it all. You roll your eyes, shake your head and whisper to your­self, “I’m never having kids,” un­til you wake up one day with a lit­ter of your own and realize you’re that parent.

Hypocrisy may be the reason we fail to bring attention to some­one else. Besides, correcting an­other’s behavior is often not justi­fied and may come off as rude.

Rakowitz said that happy atti­tudes should be embraced if you want to correct another.

“I have been corrected and have corrected others before for simple things. If you approach the state­ment in a polite way, taking it of­fensively shouldn’t be an issue,” said Rakowitz.

Adversely, senior business ma­jor William Crane said, “I don’t feel it’s my place to correct other people I’m not close with.”

Appropriate behavior defined in the Student Handbook of the University’s Student Code of Con­duct is for students and employees to “act responsible, respectful and professional at all times.”

Senior criminal justice major Christopher Monahan said, “I don’t feel like physical contact is necessary at all when correcting someone’s behavior, just talking to them is the way to go. I once had to calm down a friend at a party who was being just plain loud and obnoxious. You have to remember that under certain situations a per­son may become really offended and the situation might escalate if you try to help someone out.”

Professor Sherri Sukienik of the Communication Department said, “We sort of have to judge situations. I don’t know if we can necessarily classify things as black and white and we have to recognize the circumstances someone is in and use common sense.”