Editorial: 4-to-a-table is baaaad

The media center‘s quest for silence has produced an atrocity: the notorious four-to-a-table rule. And it makes me really perturbed a little bit a lot a bit. This rule should not exist for several reasons. First, it is ineffective in accomplishing its goal: to reduce the amount of noise in the MC. The rule is in place because tables of more than 4 students tend to be louder than smaller groups. But while this may be so, the rule doesn’t directly target the source of the problem; chatter comes largely from noisy people, not necessarily from large groups of people; ie., tables of three loud, annoying freshmen is worse than tables of four or five quiet other, not-as-loud-and-obnoxious not-freshmen. There are definitely other, more effective ways of maintaining silence than setting a cap for group sizes. Second, it inhibits productivity in group activities. This is pretty obvious, so I won’t go into detail. The fact that students are being prevented from working together to try to maintain silence is pretty ridiculous. If trying to prevent noise in the MC gets to the point that student productivity is being inhibited, something is obviously not working right. Lastly, the rule is very sporadically enforced. This isn’t really a flaw in the rule itself, but it still warrants some attention. It’s not uncommon for a table of 5 quiet students to be broken up while another group in the back of the MC is raising hell, and it makes me mad puzzled. I could see the reason behind selectively applying the rule to let students work in groups, as mentioned above, but that’s usually not the case. What’s the deal? It seems to be a reflection of the incompetence of the rule and how little it actually matters that there are more than four to a table. Think of better rules. Also, don’t shush me, I’m a grown man.