Ho hum: public displays of affection

Brianne Fleming, Staff Writer

Whether it is a peck on the cheek or a simple goodbye hug between classes, couples on campus share their love visibly.

For Tuck Shop employee Darwen Kull, public displays of affection are an everyday occurrence, and sometimes not the most enjoyable thing to witness.

“I do see it a lot,” said Kull. “There’s nothing wrong with a peck on the cheek or a hug.” However, Kull said sometimes the line is slightly crossed.

Kull said she sees many affectionate gestures in the Student Union lobby and in the Tuck Shop.

“There is just a time and a place for everything,” she said.

Pitt-Johnstown student Taylor Stevenson said she doesn’t look for couples showing affection in the Tuck Shop, but sees it once  a while.

“I don’t see it that much,” said Stevenson. “But if I do, it is when I’m leaving the Student Union.”

Other students, however, run into it a lot. Senior Natalie Aikens said she is no stranger to seeing too much public love.

“I always see the same couple making out outside the classroom,” said Aikens. “It’s kind of gross.”

Whether students are walking from class or leaving after lunch, they might run right into a public make-out session they did not expect.

Pitt-Johnstown psychology professor Sharon Bertsch said she keeps her public displays of affection on a professional level with her husband and fellow faculty member, physics professor Allan Walstad.

In terms of overly friendly displays of affection from students, Bertsch said she could not remember the last time she saw something really inappropriate.

Bertsch said she believes affection in public is OK to a certain extent.

“It doesn’t bother me as long as it doesn’t make people uncomfortable,” she said.

Bertsch said she and Walstad share an occasional hug in the hallway, but that is about it.

“As you get older, you learn what the rules are for what is appropriate in certain situations,” she said. “We are both older now and professional.

“Neither one of us have ever really been really open in terms of affection in public,” said Bertsch. “People who are affectionate when they are younger tend to stay consistent as they get older. We are older and pretty much the same.”