You may have thought nobody saw you spill that drink, or drop that piece of trash, but then again, you also may not have known about the People Watching Association.
“We don’t really think about other people watching us,” sophomore Joshua Patchus said. As an active member, Patchus said he is now aware that others may be studying his every move. “It’s made me clean up my act a little more.”
The People Watching Association, which began in 2005 and now has 15 members, was the brainchild of senior Tim Shea, the group’s chief executive officer.
“It’s almost like a sociology experiment,” Patchus said. “It’s an interesting process to see how people interact with each other.”
The group’s focus is heavy on social experiments, Shea said, though not all of the members are psychology and sociology majors.
Normally the members congregate outside in the spring or summer when it’s warm, for a half hour or an hour and often sitting in busy areas like Kogan Plaza, the benches outside Munson Hall or outside Gelman Library.
Sometimes they pick up some food or some coffee and mouth conversation as they observe what’s going on around them. They like to discuss what they think somebody was up to or even laugh at people who do stupid things.
Shea said he takes particular notice of litterers.
“Litterers will look around to see if anyone saw them,” he said. “It’s fun to watch people do stupid stuff and not think anyone saw them.”
The act of people watching is not confined only to this club, though and members of the student organization say that it is a natural thing to do.
“Everyone people watches,” Shea said. “Most people just think it’s a joke.”
To keep the club serious, the executive board consists of many positions, including a vice president of exploration, a vice president of communication and even a vice president of international relations.
Shea said, “We encourage everyone to get involved, and we have officers for everything.”