Taking off hats and not walking on the grass are just two of the traditions Aggies uphold to make the Memorial Student Center a living tribute to the Aggies that lost their lives in war. Recently, Aggies on Twitter have debated whether walking around without shoes on in the building challenges this idea of respect.
After biomedical science sophomore Giovanni Rocha tweeted a video of another student walking barefoot throughout the downstairs food court, Aggies on Twitter discussed whether or not it is disrespectful to walk around without shoes or socks on in the MSC.
Rocha said not only was seeing someone walking around openly with no shoes on distasteful, but it was also disrespectful to the MSC as a whole.
“I wholeheartedly believe people should dress how they want and are comfortable with,” Rocha said. “However, the MSC is a place where we are supposed to be respectful. It is not your home. Keeping your shoes on is not a tradition, it’s common decency.”
In response to Rocha’s disapproval of the act, public health freshman Molly Prigmore defended the unknown student with a simple tweet that read, “Let us live”, only to have herself embroiled in the thick of the debate.
“The situation seemed to spiral into chaos after I responded to her tweet,” Prigmore said. “Not wearing shoes in public does not bother me, and I think as long as nothing is offensive, people should be allowed to live as they please.”
Prigmore is not bothered by people not wearing shoes in public, she said. As long as it steers clear of offensive content and it is not purposely making others uncomfortable, she believes people should be able to do as they please in public spaces.
“It is extremely important for people to respect the traditions of the MSC,” Prigmore said. “Not wearing shoes is not disrespectful in any way. It is a student center where everyone should feel comfortable in their own skin.”
While a majority of those involved in the Twitter debate sided that not wearing shoes is a sign of disrespect in the MSC, geology senior Amanda Chrise said she sees both sides of the argument.
“I think it’s okay for people to take their shoes off in the MSC because you deserve to study comfortably,” Chrise said. “But walking around barefoot is a little excessive.”
Although the question of disrespect was raised by a single tweet, Rocha thinks this is an underlying issue in other places on campus.
“Being barefoot in public is definitely an issue that needs to be addressed,” Rocha said. “It happens constantly and everywhere. In the MSC, the libraries and even sometimes in class. It’s not just about it being gross, it is also very dangerous to be barefoot in public.”
The divisive Twitter debate continues, but Prigmore said all she wants is to see Aggies come together and uphold traditions as one.
“Please be kind to everyone,” Prigmore said. “Even if their beliefs are different than yours.”