By Evan Dangerfield

There has always been a negative stigma attached to chewing gum in the classroom. The obnoxious smacking and discovery of aged Double Mint on the bottom of chairs is a constant reminder of just how irritating gum can be.

Because of rule-abiding teachers in middle schools all over the country, some KU students just cannot chew gum.

I don’t think many of us need to relive the constant warnings, “No gum in the classroom,” “No smacking or popping gum” and the popular “Do not stick gum under the chairs, desks, etc…”

For many students at KU, these warnings have yet to leave our consciousness, and although we may not be aware, we are still heeding the warnings of our middle school teachers today!

Bria Evans, a senior chemistry major, remembers the verbal lashings she endured for chewing gum a bit too loudly when growing up.

“Chewing gum is definitely not for me. I remember my sixth grade teacher aired me out for popping my gum during science class. To this day I still can’t bring myself to chew anything during a lecture,” she said.

However, not all of us remain scarred from previous experience like Evans.

To some, chewing gum is more than just something to do, or a means to freshen breath; it is actually academically beneficial.

There have been psychological studies conducted that show chewing gum can actually heighten one’s senses in regards to memory concentration and alertness.

The British Psychological Society and a team of psychologists at St. Lawrence University conducted two such studies. While these are just two examples, there are many more.

Andrew Thompson, a junior business major, said that gum helps him stay focused in and out the classroom.

“I can’t really function in class if I don’t have a piece of gum. It helps me focus; I feel like it keeps my brain chugging and working properly,” he said.

Senior Spanish major Myke Robinson said, “I don’t really care if you chew gum or not, as long as it’s not distracting me from whatever I’m doing in class.”

Is gum the key to longevity and success in the classroom, or is it just another distraction?

What do you think, Kutztown? To chew or not to chew? Personally, I say to each their own. If gum helps you, then by all means chew away. If not, then do not do it.


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