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MSU Cafeteria Etiquette: The Unwritten Rules


We’ve all gone to “The Vista at Shaw” and been annoyed at that one person who has spread out all of their things on a table that’s designed for four-to-five people. We’ve all had people infringe on our own personal space at the long tables at Sny-Phi. It’s frustrating and annoying and makes eating, which, if done properly, can be just as satisfying as sex, a motherfucking hassle. There’s not really any form of etiquette to the caf, so it’s quite understandable why some people have some bad habits. With that said, your friendly neighborhood writers at The Black Sheep have come up with five guidelines to make everyone’s cafgoing experience less of a hassle.


Count How Many Yous There Are (Hint: There’s Only One):
If you’re by yourself, don’t take up an entire table that could be used for a group that wants to eat together. Sure, going to The Gallery and getting some homework done is a great way to kill two birds with one stone, but you’re probably gonna spend some time there. The best way to efficiently move groups in and out of the caf is to have them take a big table, eat, and then replace them with the next foursome. With you taking up one table by yourself, you’re causing a backlog worse than the stoplight at Hagadorn and Grand River. If you’re by yourself, you sit at the long tables.


Dine and Dash:
If you have a group of people, don’t sit around and hang out for like half an hour after you’re done eating. You get about ten minutes to end your conversations and leave. You’re all going back to the same place anyway, you can walk and talk. Someone else is eyeing your seat, and it could be Connor Cook. Do you want to be the one who keeps the 2015 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award winner waiting? Let’s turn some tables here, guys.


Give Some Grace Space:
We’re not at the urinals in the men’s room, but the same rules still apply. If we’re sitting at the long table by ourselves, don’t sit next to us or across from us. Sitting diagonal is totally acceptable. This way, we can still spread out with our food tray, a notebook, and a laptop casually playing Netflix without having to worry about getting into someone else’s space.


Be a Good Neighbor:
This one isn’t so much a suggestion as it is a plea for help. If we get up to go get a refill on a drink, please watch over our stuff. You saw we were sitting there, and you know what we look like. Don’t let any freeloaders try to swipe things from us. That’s just not right. Our stuff is shitty anyway, nobody else should want it.


Don’t be Mean, Be Clean:
Pick up your stuff when you’re done. Not only are you causing more work for the poor caf workers, who have the most thankless job on campus, but you’re also confusing everyone else in the caf who thinks that you’re still sitting there because they see food. So even though you’re not there, your space is probably still being saved, all because you were too lazy to walk the 50 feet to clean your tray. That’s a very Wolverine thing to do.


By following these five simple suggestions, you have the potential to make everyone’s caf eating experience far more enjoyable. With finals coming up, we all could use some quality caf time to de-stress.


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