Insights: A Column, Issue 5


Josh Click, Photography Editor

   Can we all agree that public displays of affection (PDA) are gross and should be limited on campus? The atrocities that take place in the halls during school are astounding. It’s one thing to show appreciation for your significant other, but it’s an entirely different thing to make the entire school uncomfortable. Physical affection should be kept private.

   Historically, strange PDA has been looked down upon. In Ancient Rome, on Valentine’s Day, according to NPR, Romans would throw a two-day rager full of naked men, animal abuse, and, for lack of a better term, “love” ( This is just one example of cultures taking PDA a step too far. According to the Los Angeles Times, “The Chinese found the whole idea of public kissing gross.” The Times added, “At the Council of Vienna (1311-1312), the Catholic Church tried to regulate kissing, according its status as a mortal or venal sin depending on the degrees of lovers’ intent.” The kiss from this time forward was regarded as something private, which should be kept that way.

   As late as 1900, an American etiquette guide declared public kissing “a reprehensible custom and should not be tolerated in good society” ( In other places in the world, PDA is outright illegal. According to a website about Indian laws,  under section 294 of the Indian Penal Code, causing annoyance to others through “obscene acts” is a criminal offense with a punishment of imprisonment up to three months, or a fine, or both ( Now, I’m not implying that we implement these codes. I believe that we, as a community, can respect each other’s boundaries and consider whether our actions make others uncomfortable.

    So what gives, are we not allowed to hold hands? No, of course you can. The problem is not PDA as a whole, rather the less school-appropriate expressions. Stop making out in the halls – it’s gross.

     Instead of crossing the PDA boundaries, perhaps it would be a nice to give your boyfriend or girlfriend a physical gift? Well, maybe that’s not the best idea either. When you think of giving your significant other a cute quick gift, you probably picture the stuffed teddy bears, flowers wrapped in plastic, irritating singing cards, and those tacky mylar balloons.

   That’s great and all, until it ends up in the trash a week later. According to an ocean pollution organization, “It is custom to give stuffed animals, cut flowers such as roses, things wrapped in plastic, balloons, and an infinite number of objects that will remain in our environment between 100-500 years” ( Nevermind the gift idea, because fish are going to have to look at your plastic for the next 500 years.

    Show your love in a nice, appropriate way, not by sucking face in the halls or with trashy gifts. Hold hands and be kind.