Not all rules are written: A guide to rules not in the handbook

Tuck in your shirt, wear your lanyard, and close your email. McNicholas, like any other high school, has a list of rules designed to ensure all students are performing at their full potential. These official rules are all written and promulgated, but there are many other rules known to the students of McNick without having to be stated.

Walk on the right side of the hall. (*this rule also applies to stairs)

Just as drivers stay on the right side of the road, students need to keep to the right side of the hall. Occasionally, a group of students feel that their friendship will fall apart if they do not walk side by side across the hall. This disrupts the natural flow of the hallway, poses a problem for the students on the other side, and frustrates those who are trying to get to their class.

“When I see a group of people walking on the wrong side of the hall, I want to say ‘It’s just like driving! Get out of the way!’ ” junior Emily Rivard said.

Thankfully, the hallways don’t dissolve into chaos and disorder too often (only Senior Hall is permanently problematic), and most students fall into line without noticing.

Use the other door.

Yes, both of the doors to Freshman and Sophomore Halls open. In between classes, students tend to flood through one of the doors and leave the other closed. Neglecting to open the other leads to pushing, shoving, and standing back to allow a never-ending string of students to pass through. This rule is both unspoken and unheeded, but it would save students stress between classes.

Be polite and hold the door (when the person behind you is in the Acceptable Zone).

Holding the door is common courtesy. According to Art Markman, PhD, we have been taught that holding the door for others is polite, and it minimizes collective effort by reducing the number of people who must use energy to open it for themselves. However, there are conditions for this altruistic behavior. Most know that there is a zone when holding the door is expected. If the next person is outside of the “Acceptable Zone,” do not wait for him or her and keep walking. The Acceptable Zone is about 5 feet from the door. If you’re unsure whether or not to hold it, ask yourself if the person will have to change their pace from walking to not-quite-jogging to make the wait less awkward.

Rules exist to keep and restore order within a community. Some are written down for everyone to see, but others exist without ever being officially put into place. In either case, they’re there for a reason, so be courteous of your classmates.

Safe zone

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