Rants and Raves: Elevator Etiquette

In this week’s “Rants and Raves,” Managing Design Editor Brianne LaBare ’25 hopes for the Amherst community to observe better elevator etiquette.

Like most mornings, I exit my room and press the small plastic button on the wall indicating I need to descend to the first floor of my dorm. My suspended chariot arrives with a soft ding. I step into the wooden paneled box, greeted by a series of numbered buttons that ask me where I wish to go. The mechanical sliding doors close as I select my desired location, securely locking me in. I stand under the fluorescent lights, hands resting on the railings. A few seconds pass, and my chariot emanates a faint shuddering — and sometimes screeching — alerting me that my journey has ended. But I am stopped as I go to step off the flat platform — pushed back. I am met with a direct force that prevents me from exiting my chariot and continuing on my way.

While encounters with elevators are not usually this theatrical, I would like to call attention to our student body’s lack of elevator etiquette — what, in my opinion, is considered the worst act a fellow human being can commit: entering an elevator before those previously on board can exit.

Many times, I or people I know have been bombarded by a student (or students) rushing onto the elevator while we are exiting. While I understand you may at times be in a hurry and everyone’s time is valuable, correctly entering an elevator only takes a few extra seconds, and it’s much safer for everyone than rushing into the elevator as soon as the doors start to open. Waiting a moment to allow people to exit the elevator before entering ensures that both parties get to their desired destination.

In truth, elevator etiquette isn’t tricky. All it takes is a tiny amount of time, good manners, and common sense. But it can improve the experience in an elevator for everyone, including you.