Learning to share

Story by Kris Kotlarik

It’s a Saturday night at home. Somebody wants to watch some college football, while somebody else wants to watch a movie. An argument starts, feelings get hurt, and, regardless of who ends up getting to watch what they want, nobody wins.

Now, try placing that scenario into the lobby of a residence hall, where a multitude of opinions get in the way of high-definition harmony. You would think it would be impossible for a building of roughly 300 people to agree on what to watch, but it can be done with patience and some compromise.

This did not happen on Saturday night. Stanford and USC were going into double overtime. I left for approximately 30 seconds to get a drink of water. Lo and behold, the lobby television gets jacked by an overzealous RA who refuses to compromise on her endless quest to go on another power trip (and to watch “Hocus Pocus”).

Even when there were 15 people watching Wisconsin lose in the lobby, numerous attempts were made to commandeer the television by people who simply don’t care about sports and obviously don’t care about the passion that these sports fans have for their team.

So, to prevent something like this from happening again in the residence halls, I’m going to take this opportunity to write out some proposed guidelines for television usage in the residence hall lobbies.

For starters, if there is something you want to watch at an exact time, post a sign near the television that says “Reserved (date) at (time) for (whatever it is you want to watch).” It’s that simple. It doesn’t matter if you want to watch a movie, a football game or the newest episode of “Burn Notice.” If it’s reserved, that’s what is going to be on.

Secondly, and I can’t say this emphatically enough: Live (especially local) sports and one-time events always take precedence over movies and video games. And if there’s a close game on, then wait 15 minutes or so for the game to end.

Generally, the best time to watch movies are during the weekdays, or after about 10 or 11 p.m. on the weekends. That way, there should be virtually nothing (other than a possible “Daily Show”/ “Colbert Report” double header) that should stop people who want to watch movies from doing so in peace.

If you are going to take over the television to watch a movie, then watch the damn movie. Don’t talk about stupid boyfriend/girlfriend gossip that people who are actually trying to watch the movie don’t care about or surf on your laptop throughout the movie. This goes double for anyone who reserves/takes over the TV.

On the topic of using the lobby television for video games, if there’s nobody around, or nobody that’s in the general vicinity cares, then go ahead and play to your heart’s content until someone wants to do something else with it. If you’re in the middle of something, compromise on the amount of time it’ll take before you’re done.

I know it’s a tough process. I admit that I have been in the wrong before when it comes to reserving the television for what I want to watch. But there are a thousand things that we could be doing that would be better than arguing over what’s going to be on the television in the lobby.

 

Kris Kotlarik is a senior history and print journalism double major and Staff Writer at The Spectator.