Section: Opinion

Kenyon Q’s: Dressing and dining etiquette

Hi Hannah,

What should I do if my favorite Peirce salad dressing (berry balsamic/raspberry vinaigrette) is always in the back? It is so far away that every day I have to stretch my arm as far as I can and either duck my head under the glass or press my face against the sneeze guard. This is actually a real problem I’m having.



Dear Nick,

That’s a pain, and as an avid user of the Peirce salad bar, you have my sympathies. Making a salad is a sacred practice, and it wouldn’t be fair of me to suggest that you settle for a lesser salad dressing, like ranch or ginger soy. I know how gross it is to press your face against the sneeze guard. Then again, it’s equally gross for you to go underneath it and breathe on the salad toppings. No one person should have that much power, especially during flu season.

I recommend developing your stretching abilities to help you better reach the back of the salad bar. The Vinyasa yoga classes at the KAC are scheduled every day of the week except Saturday. A solid side plank or reverse prayer pose opens your shoulders and helps extend your arms’ reach. Additionally, the mental serenity that practicing yoga provides will help you keep your cool on the occasions that Peirce runs out of berry balsamic or on those frustrating days when you Just. Can’t. Reach.

Another option requires remembering the famous Gandhi quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Is it a cliché quote? Maybe, but I’m taking a course on Gandhi this semester, and that guy knew a thing or two about inspiring social reform. He believed in the power of nonviolent resistance, which is essentially taking every (peaceful) measure you can to better your situation.

So what could you do to change your situation? Try leaving the berry balsamic in the front of the dressing tray. Keep doing it until people think that’s where it belongs and follow your trend. Or befriend a long-armed person to help you obtain those hard-to-reach ingredients. Or ask one of the AVI workers at the salad bar to hand you the dressing. They’re usually happy to help when you ask nicely.

Why is it okay to share a table on Old Side but not on New Side or in the Alumni Dining Room?


Can I Sit Here?

Dear Sit Here,

This is an undeniable practice at Peirce, but the best explanation I can give you is that Kenyon students are pretty content with keeping to themselves and the people they know. On Old Side, the long tables allow you and a friend to sit at one end and someone else to sit at the other without actually interacting with you. In fact, you’d have to turn your head to see them, so it’s easy for you and your friend to keep your conversation between yourselves. Also, if someone sits at the opposite end of an Old Side table, it’s a good sign they have no intention of joining you from 10 feet away.

The round and rectangular tables on New Side and ADR, on the other hand, are much cozier. No matter who’s sitting where, everyone is a part of the conversation. You can’t share one of these tables and not socialize with the others sitting there. Talk about awkward!

What are your burning questions? Don’t know what to do about your hookup’s return from a semester abroad? Trying to rein in reactions to out-of-control email threads? Submit anonymously on or ask Hannah Lee at and she can offer the written equivalent of a hug.


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