For over 10 years, the New York Times Sunday Magazine has published a column in which Randy Cohen answers readers' questions about "the moral and ethical dilemmas of our time." Over the course of my three years at Bowdoin, I've encountered quite a few such Bowdoin-specific ethical quandaries.

I'm not an expert, but I am a concerned community member hoping to codify Bowdoin social norms and basic principles of right conduct. Send me your questions and I'll reply with the justice and wit you expect of the Orient.

Every Sunday, my friends and I spend four to six hours at Little Dog Café on Maine Street. We order food and drinks sporadically throughout the day—first coffee and bagels, then tea and paninis, etc. A couple of months ago, we opted for pizza as our second course. Because Flipside isn't conducive to homework, we brought a pie to Little Dog. Another customer glared at us and condescendingly interjected, "Guys, if the owner were here, I think he'd ask you not to eat that here." We had considered the moral quandary ourselves. Did we come to the wrong conclusion?

It is decidedly neither the responsibility nor the place of another patron to impose her moral judgment on you. If the owner of the store, or any of his employees, had asked you not to eat the pizza, you should have promptly apologized and either disposed of the pizza or eaten it elsewhere. But that's not your question—you already know that.

I tend to disagree with the condescending patron. If the owner had been present, he would have acknowledged your loyalty and responded accordingly— it's simply good business. He might have asked you not to eat Flipside pizza in his coffee shop again. That said, I would err on the side of caution. Though you're loyal paying customers, Little Dog is a place of business. And even if it doubles as a library or your living room couch on Sundays, you should respect its original intent.

You should not act in ways that make you feel uncomfortable. If you were unsure of whether or not it was appropriate to bring the pizza to Little Dog and felt uncomfortable eating it, it's safe to say you should not have done so.

Monday was chicken finger night. My friend and I, both vegetarians, arrived to Thorne just before 7p.m. The line was as long as it has ever been. The chicken nuggets were going like hotcakes and causing the extraordinarily long lines. The vegan nuggets, on the other hand, were getting cold. Could we have bypassed the line for the sesame nuggets and skipped to the dipping sauces?

It's important to draw a distinction between morally permissible and socially unacceptable.

You correctly assessed the cause of the long lines: every person was asking to be served the same dish, so every person would be served by the same server. Because the rate of chicken nugget output is lower than the demand, you had to wait to be served.

You're also correct that if you cut the line, you would not have compounded the problem, nor would not have inconvenienced anyone else in line. But the fact remains that you would have been heckled on your walk to the salad bar. I, for one, would have hissed. I'd be interested to get a server's point of view.

I often use the public computers on the first floor of Hawthorne and Longfellow Library. If someone is typing excessively loudly am I allowed to ask him to stop?

In the third episode of "The West Wing," President Bartlet asks his newly assembled officer core, "What is the virtue of a proportional response?" to which the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff sagely responds: "It isn't virtuous, it's all there is, sir." The fact of the matter is your "shhh" is a disproportional response. Opt for a glare.

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