Rutgers University, located in New Jersey, hopes to change that image. A recent campaign calls for its citizens, more specifically those on campus, to start behaving better.
Starting on Wednesday, students, faculty and staff are expected to attend several lectures, presentations and discussions on civility. And if there is adequate space, residents in the community are encouraged to attend as well.
Yousef Saleh, a senior from Jersey City and SGA president, said he does see acts of civility on campus, but he also said there’s room for improvement.
“One person closes their book five seconds before the end of class, and then it’s like a waterfall, everybody closes their book,” he said. “It’s disrespectful to the professor.”
But he doesn’t blame the state of New Jersey for its not-so-nice demeanor.
“It’s because we’re college students and we’re paying for services and we all feel entitled to have a seat on a bus, we feel there should be short lines at takeout,” Saleh said. “We’re paying the professor so we should be able to leave class whenever we feel like it.”
Rutgers school official, Kathleen Hull, said she admits the university has some amenity problems, but she said every school does. She said Rutgers is as civil as the world that surrounds the campus.
Although, Hull is aware of New Jersey’s notorious rough-and-tough reputation.
“We could come up with a new slogan: ‘Project Civility: You got a problem with that?’” she said.
With comparatively modest hopes, she doesn’t expect a complete turnaround from the civility lectures. But she will encourage students, faculty and staff to speak freely about newly-proposed civility. Perhaps students will come up with classroom policies on cell phones, texting and proper conduct on the university’s fleet buses, she said. But Hull is concerned that the campus may not be opened to any change.
“For all I know,” Hull said, “there may be a rejection.”