Luke Johnson | SIPA 2018
Seats are battle grounds here at the Lehman library during finals week. Well over-capacity, Lehman forces students to make morally-questionable decisions on making sure their friends have a spot. Or sometimes, just for personal space, it seems.
I am sitting here in the reading hall, lucky to have found a spot at 6PM this Monday evening, when I notice a woman across from me get up to leave. Her wooden seat has not cooled off before someone else from another table gently and sheepishly placed down an empty packet of chips and a folder on the desk, reserving the spot. The invader, having raised her flag, returns to her place and continues to work. This was repeated again, and now she (and her friend) have control over four spots. While I’m writing this, there are four ‘occupied’ spaces, with only one butt in a seat (her friend went somewhere, apparently).
It has been about 25 minutes since this team has captured this territory; many people since then have walked through the reading room with their eyes scanning around for empty spots, only to have been fought back by rubbish and loose paper.
Frankly, I wonder how she can conquer this virgin land and not feel bad. She is fully aware that there are people looking for spots, but this inconsideration does not seem to bother her. 40 minutes have gone by, I have finished writing and … still no one in the seats…