Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Politeness Trend?

Dare we hope, Graces? There seem to be signs in the media that politeness and civility are destined to become hip.

Consider the new Politeness Program at Rutgers University. School officials tired of the campus-wide rudeness and decided to take action. The constant texting, phoning, and web surfing during class pushed professors to a breaking point. Students simply had no sense of when it was ok to whip out their devices, so Rutgers has set out to instruct them.

College campuses have always been on the front end of social change on matters ranging from the Viet Nam War to Facebook, so let's hope this is the start of a trend toward civility and decorum. I applaud Rutgers for this project. I might even write them a thank you note.

On a slightly more tongue-in-cheek side of things, consider Jon Stewart's latest....The Rally to Restore Sanity. As only Stewart can, he has skewered the current practice of political opponents to outshout and verbally eviscerate each other. While I won't be attending said rally, I think it's worth noting.

What do you think, Graces? Is etiquette rearing its lovely head?


Katrina said...

Rutgers new program is because a student taped his roommate's sexual encounter & posted it to the web. They announced this morning the boy who was taped killed himself. I don't think politeness is being enforced, but that the University is trying to minimize their legal liability. How anyone could think posting their roommate to the internet - especially without their knowledge - is an appropriate action is beyond me. What it does make apparent is children aren't being taught social mores and how to appropriately interact with others, and that there is a need for this type of education in classrooms. If parents are unwilling/unable to teach this to their children, our schools should be stepping in. My heart breaks at the thought of what that poor boy went through.

Social Grace said...

Thanks for your comment. I, too, send my deepest condolences to the young man's family and am so saddened to contemplate his pain. I hope that those responsible are proscecuted to the fullest extent of the law. If this does not wake our society up to the dangers of where we are heading I can't imagine what will.