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Practicing politeness: Why the community holds doors open for others

By Tucker Paquette

Some people view the act of holding doors open for their peers as a common courtesy. Others may see it as something they are obligated to do.

Well, for many at Springfield College, they comfortably reside in the former category.

Not only is holding doors open typical on this campus, but it is a tradition that has been in place for a long time. In fact, this dynamic began when Springfield College was an all-boys school, according to the College’s archivist, Jeff Monseau.

“This goes all the way back to the beginning [of this school’s existence in 1885], [when] the purpose of this school was to train young men to go out into the world and help other people,” Monseau said.

Furthermore, according to Monseau, the long-standing practice of holding doors open on this campus is born out of people wanting to be kind to others.

Springfield College is not the only school that emphasizes this, though; in fact, this act of generosity is more widespread than people may think.

“One of the things that all schools try to do is [get students in the habit of holding doors open], [so it] becomes ingrained in you to always do that,” Monseau said.

Presumably, there are lots of firm believers in the benefits of getting in the habit of holding doors open for other people, and Monseau is most certainly among them.

“I hope that’s a tradition that will never stop at Springfield College, because I think it’s important for everybody to learn and get practice on it,” Monseau said.

It is also worth noting that holding doors open doesn’t go unnoticed. Monseau indicated how alumni mention acts of kindness, such as holding doors open, as reasons for why they chose to come to Springfield College.

“[Today], as you go into the Student Union, you’ll still have people always holding the door for somebody, so it is a tradition that continues,” Monseau said.

Photo by Springfield Student

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