Trailed closely by “always be respectful,” “no biting” has topped the list of leading classroom guidelines for the tenth consecutive year, according to the most recent collegiate polling.
The data reflect sentiments of students across campuses nationwide, but news of the polling has reignited a passionate dialogue at the University of Michigan. For students in support of the results, like LSA senior Fletcher Bennett, it was a clear choice. “Unkind words don’t leave lifelong scars,” said Bennett. “At the end of the day, I’d much rather be disrespected than bitten.”
However, those rallying behind “be respectful” maintained that words can cut just as deep as any metal crown. “Sure, verbal disrespect doesn’t leave behind any physical scar, but it can cause lifelong damage,” retorted freshman Sandy Woods.
In further support, some students have taken on a more semantic position, arguing that biting falls under the umbrella of general disrespect, and thus, should be ineligible from receiving recognition on its own merit. “Look, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I want to be bitten,” said senior Edith Flynn. “But biting doesn’t exist without the assumption of disrespect. It’s simple logic.”
In his rebuttal, Bennett stressed that biting involves teeth, which he claims are scary. “Verbal attacks, while mean, don’t leave toothy imprints on your forearm,” stated Bennett.
At press time, other students argued that biting should actually count as a form of participation.