Cell phone hang-ups — staff editorial

The sound of ringing cellular phones is becoming annoyingly commonplace in GW classrooms and traditionally quiet areas.

Cell phones have gained enormous popularity during the past few years. Many GW students have rung into the trend and routinely tote their cell phones around campus.

If used respectfully, cell phones pose no problem. Too often owners forget to turn their phones off during class or in the library. The high-pitched rings interrupt professors, distract students and cause a general nuisance.

The issue of cell phone courtesy needs to be addressed. Professors should make explicit rules against cell-phone usage during class out of respect for everyone. Students need to know that disrupting an entire classroom because an individual forgot to turn off a cell phone is unacceptable.

Gelman Library should also have a clear cell phone policy. Perhaps the library could designate a special cell phone area where usage would be allowed, such as on the lower level near the pay phones. A library is supposed to be a place of sanctity where students go to study and research in a quiet atmosphere – noisy cell phones and their users disrupt that setting.

In society, the cell phone phenomenon has presented a whole new set of challenges. Some jurisdictions have made speaking on cell phones while driving a traffic violation. Cell phones are increasingly a factor in motor vehicle accidents.

Whether at Foggy Bottom or elsewhere, the issue of inappropriate cell phone usage needs to be addressed. Guidelines should be established in places where cell phones will not disrupt anyone.

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