Public love ok in reasonable doses
“I hope for the day when it doesn’t matter who you love – it matters how far you choose to go in front of people.”
Valentine’s Day is upon us. Metaphorical hearts and cherubs line our vision. Pink and white decorations pervade the atmosphere, and couples everywhere seemed joined at the hands and lips.
But how much affection is suitable for public eyes?
While some students prefer no contact between consenting bodies be made, others have no hang-ups about public displays of affection (PDA) whatsoever.
“It’s embarrassing – we’re not in high school,” said Brittany Mason, sophomore nursing major and opponent of PDAs.
LaRhon Walker, junior recreation major, had a different opinion.
“I’m down with it (PDA), just because if you know someone on (Valentine’s Day), you’re probably going to go after them,” Walker said.
One way lovers use a PDA is as a sign of possession, said Rochelle Rowley, assistant professor of sociology and intimate relationships course instructor. She also said it may be a sign of commitment.
“By holding hands, we are showing that we are committed to each other and that no one can mess with our person,” Rowley said.
Rowley also said society shouldn’t have a different view on same sex couples than they do for straight couples.
“I feel like there should be absolutely no difference (with same sex couples),” Rowley said. “I hope for the day when it doesn’t matter who you love, it matters how far you choose to go in front of people.” Rowley said.
A poll of students conducted in the Memorial Union revealed that most Hornets don’t have a problem with limited public affection.
Kayla Bauck, senior English education major, said she believes that certain acts are acceptable in public, while others are not.
“It annoys me if I’m walking around and see someone sucking face, but I don’t care if people are holding hands or hugging,” Bauck said.
Kayla McKinney, senior secondary education major, agreed with Bauck.
“I think holding hands is sweet, but you don’t need to be all over each other in a public place,” McKinney said. “The phrase ‘get a room’ exists for a reason.”
The issue of PDA was also divisive amongst couples who were polled. Beth Scharinger, sophomore education major, said that she feels public affection is inappropriate.
“I feel like other people don’t want to see the activities that I choose to partake in with my boyfriend,” Scharinger said. “The union couches aren’t the place to snuggle – it’s disgusting. Sure, holding hands or a peck on the cheek is cute, but go somewhere private.”
But Audrey Millard, junior secondary math education major, said she sees no problem with holding hands or sharing a kiss with her boyfriend.
While the issue seems to be more about the severity of PDA, rather than the act itself, public love is a-o-k with most students – as long as it’s kept PG.