How to be a better Orange

How to be a better Orange

Here are the minimum expectations for being a good roommate, classmate and SU community member.
Published: May 14, 2023

Learning on campus: Dorms vs. classrooms

For some people, learning to live with a stranger, be a friendly classmate and walk on the right side of the promenade can be overwhelming and maybe even difficult, but it is not impossible. The following rules make having proper campus etiquette quite easy.

Campus Life:

1. Wear whatever you want to class. Seriously, no one cares. “I was wearing full-on skinny jeans and sweaters and boots freshman year and all the girls would be so comfortable, looking like they just rolled out of bed in their MadHappy sets.” – Kira Morimoto, senior

2. It is upstate New York, but snow boots aren’t really a necessity. “No one wears snow boots during the winter. At most, they wear ‘trendy’ boots, and they might pull out the legit ones on a really bad day. For the most part, it’s sneakers every day.” – Kira Morimoto, senior

3. Give yourself ample time to conquer the campus hills. “I remember obnoxiously coughing as I walked up the BBB and Falk steps so no one would notice my panting as I struggled to catch my breath.” – Kira Morimoto, senior

4. Explore campus freshman year because you won’t after that. “I spent a lot more time in places like Schine and Bird freshman year. Or in those orange chairs in Newhouse. When you’re a freshman, this whole space is so new. I wanted to see different spaces on campus and try to find my study spot.” – Aviya Garg, sophomore

5. Be prepared for the first “warm” day after winter. “When it first hits like 50 degrees, everyone wears tanks and posts up on the quad. Frats blast music from their porches, people skip class and the vibes are just very high. You won’t want to miss it.” – Kira Morimoto, senior

6. Rules of the road apply to the quad walkways. And they are sacred and steadfast.  “If you’re walking one way, stay to the right side. I’m not going to move because I am on the right side. And you can’t have a pack of people and take up the whole damn walkway. It boils my blood.” – Zac Weintraub, freshman

7. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet – especially Yik Yak. “I used Yik Yak, but not anymore. I feel like it’s embarrassing to use now. There is nothing that I have ever read there that I found to be credible.” – Claire Peterson, freshman

8. All Bird floors were not created equally. “The basement and first floor are for goofs who are gonna be loud and annoying, and every floor gets more serious as you go up.” – Kira Morimoto, senior

9. The library is not for phone calls – take them elsewhere. “If you’re on Bird level three, you should be silent. If I am sitting at a table, visibly on my computer doing work, and you sit at the table behind me and start yelling on the phone, it’s rude.” – Jadyn Whitney, freshman

Small groups of students hang out on the steps of Carnegie Library on the first day of the fall semester.

10. Carnegie is strictly for serious grind sessions. “I’ve noticed when I go to Carnegie – which is not very often because it intimidates me – I get sucked into this time warp where I just get into a flow zone and do so much work.” – Zac Weintraub, freshman

11. Drop first and last names at your own risk. “In a big lecture hall or in Schine, I have heard people gossip so don’t do that. I feel like my friends will gossip literally anywhere though and take that risk. There are levels of caution that raise in certain settings.” – Aviya Garg, sophomore

12. Pause your music, hang up the phone and pay attention in the Core line. “When people are talking on the phone or have headphones in and are listening to music and they’re trying to order and we are trying to ask them questions about their order and they’re just not really paying attention, it is super annoying.” -Sydney Baldrige, CoreLife employee

13. Don’t count on finding a seat in Schine, but definitely count on seeing people you know. “It is awkward when you’re walking around and looking for a seat. I feel like you should go with a group. I could never go alone. It’s like too facey.” – Claire Peterson, freshman

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14. The Panasci Lounge should not be treated like the main floor of Schine. “If you go to the top floor, please be quiet. Read the room! It’s dead silent up there so why are you talking loudly and coming up there with your big bag of chips?” – Ericka Love, junior

15. It is not embarrassing to ask for help. “If you are wandering around looking for something in the campus store or Schine underground, just ask! I am literally here to help you.” – Natalia Pedraza, Schine campus store employee

16. It is also not embarrassing to use an umbrella. “You know what is more embarrassing than using an umbrella? Showing up to class soaking wet and then being on campus in those clothes all day.” – Molly Cummins, senior

17. There have only been 5 snow days in SU history. Don’t count on your classes being canceled. “People ask if classes are canceled when the weather gets bad. They don’t.” – Ericka Love, junior

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1. Don’t leave your germs (or equipment) behind. “If you touch anything, after your sets, you should immediately get a wipe and wipe down everything – the machine, the yoga mat, the dumbbells. If you don’t, that’s really gross.” – Nell Shwartz, senior

2. Know your place on the basketball court. “If you’re trash, nobody is going to pick you on a team so you will just be waiting there, unless you call next. If you’re nice at basketball, you play in one area, where it’s mostly packed, and if you are kind of trash, you go all the way down to the end of Barnes.” – Calvin Atieku, senior

3. Lurking is creepy. If you want a machine, ask politely. “There is a polite way to go up and ask what set they are on and if you can jump on after them. It’s awkward when someone is just standing there, twiddling their thumbs and looking at me.” -Nell Shwartz, senior


1. Make friends within your major. “You can’t make it out if you don’t have people to support you. I made it this far because of my friends.” – Calvin Atieku, mechanical engineering senior

2. Finding friends in competitive majors (like Whitman or Biology) can be hard. But it can be even more essential to success. “Because a lot of bio majors are pre med, everyone is so competitive and stressed all the time. It’s really good to meet people with the same vibe who want to help each other out.” – Alexis Chu, forensic science graduate student

3. Say hi to people you have multiple classes with. “I have a really small major, like 15 people in my grade, so I feel obligated to say hi to everyone. Like you’re supposed to know them.” – Zac Weintraub, human development and family science freshman

4. Get to a Whitman team room by 10 a.m. – or don’t bother. “You have to get to the team room by a certain time or else you’re never going to get one, especially during midterms or finals.” – Emily Devito, finance and real estate junior

5. Athletes are literally just students. Don’t fangirl and ask them for a picture between classes (or anytime really.) “In Falk, I would notice all the athletes and get so excited. But I have learned to just ignore them. They are just students.” – Claire Peterson, human development and family science major

6. Don’t switch seats and take someone’s unassigned (yet obviously claimed) seat. “By the second week of classes, you have an unofficial assigned seat, especially in a 20-person classroom. I was so thrown off last week because, in two of my classes, somebody was sitting in my normal spot.” – Mattea Vecera, magazine, news and digital journalism sophomore

7. Everyone wants to sit in the booths. Don’t hog them. “I have literally seen people run – I have run to get a booth! If it’s the middle of the day and there are a lot of people, you can just grab a seat at a table instead of taking over a whole booth. When it’s late at night or early in the morning, then it’s not bad to take a booth to yourself.” – Ericka Love, broadcast and digital journalism and international relations junior

8. Be strategic about purchasing (or not purchasing) textbooks for class. “Don’t buy textbooks and see if you can download the PDF instead for free. I never use my textbooks anyway, like ever.” – Sydney Baldridge, exercise science junior

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1. Get your friend group to live on South together or avoid it at all costs. “You do not want to get on that bus and go out. There is no part of you that wants to take the bus to meet your friends on campus just to go to frats and then leave. Once you get back to your place and leave campus, you won’t want to go back.” – Mattea Vecera, Brockway resident assistant

2. Stop yelling at your video game at 3 a.m. It’s weird and not that serious. “If you are getting a noise complaint once, turn that shit down. Otherwise, everybody is going to hate you.” – Mattea Vecera, Brockway resident assistant

3. Leave the pod the way you found it. “I would hate it when the whole countertop would be soaked in water. I would bring all my stuff in – toothbrush, face wash, washcloth, toothpaste, everything – and have nowhere to put it all. And if you’re doing your hair, don’t leave it all over the counter. That’s just gross. It would actually ruin my day. I’d be like, are you serious? Sometimes I would just walk out and try a different pod.” – Natalia Pedraza, sophomore

4. And if your floor shares a bathroom, don’t take Facetimes in it. “You don’t need to be talking to whoever while I am standing like 5 feet from you naked.” – Mattea Vecera, RA

5. Communication is critical in a split-double. “Sometimes if we were getting ready she’d be like, are you naked or are you good for me to come over.” – Natalia Pedraza, sophomore

6. Be a helping hand in the Mount passageway. “If someone was behind you in the passageway (carrying a plate full of food), you always would have to open it for them or hold the door because if you shut it, you’re an asshole. Everyone knows that you have to use the card and sometimes you just don’t have the hands for that.” – Aviya Garg, sophomore

7. Utilize the common room microwave. “One thing that would annoy me was when she would make popcorn in the microwave and it absolutely made the room smell vile. Take your popcorn and do it in the common room microwave.” – Aviya Garg, sophomore

8. Get your security guard a holiday card or end-of-the-year present. “I love the residents that will thank the front desk man who is the DPS security guard or our cleaning lady that goes around Brockway. They love the residents because they’re seeing the same kids over and over again. We got our security guard a Christmas gift last year in Haven. They have long ass shifts. They love the entertainment and having people to talk to.” – Mattea Vecera, RA

9. Befriend your RA at all costs. “Utilize the forced meetings you have with your RA so that when it comes time to complain about your annoying neighbor, you don’t feel nervous or awkward.” – Molly Cummins, senior

10. Don’t be the shower DJ. “People will bring their speakers into the shower area and everyone is forced to listen to their music.” – Carley DellaRatta, sophomore in Watson