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How to assert dominance so no one will take your seat

By Gayathri Peringod, February 10 2019 —

Listen, you’re already having a bad day. You have five more hours of classes, you’re functioning on four hours of sleep and you’re weeks behind on your readings. And then you see him — that one guy who stares at his phone all throughout class is in your seat again, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Or is there? Don’t just silently seethe in the seat next to him. Let me give you some tips on asserting your dominance in such circumstances — your seat is your seat, after all.

I don’t mean to sound like I was born to write this or something, but I did take assertiveness training in high school. Hope this helps you.

Value yourself and your rights:

Section 24(2) of the Charter states, “All citizens have the right to claim ownership of a location they have habitually been located in.”

While that might not be true, it sounds like it could be, and sometimes that’s all that matters.   

Use “I” statements:

“I” need that seat. “I” have an eye condition that requires me to sit in this location. “I” don’t think I can just sit somewhere else. Oh really? Well “I” think you should go fuck yourself.

These are all great openers.

Voice your needs and wants confidently:

Don’t be afraid to get a little physical. A punch here and there can really get your message across. When push comes to shove, go ahead and just shove them out of their seat — sorry, your seat. If this sounds excessive, don’t overthink it. Act on impulse.

Man, I really should check out that Anger Management class.

Learn to say “no”:

For best results, scream it into their face. You have to show you’re passionate about this. Think Michael Scott from The Office. I’ve noticed this is a great way to get someone to walk away — hell, even run away — from your seat.


Learn from the territorial behaviours of some of our nonhuman brothers and sisters and go ahead and take a moment to piss all over your chair. If it’s worked for other animal species for millions of years, it’ll work to scare away the nervous, glasses-wearing comp-sci major who’s been in your seat.

Pro-tip: DON’T defecate. It almost never works out well.

Get to class an hour early:

Honestly, this is what I do. Just be the chicken that you are. Make sure you wait near the door so that you can run in and grab your seat before anyone else gets there first.

This article is part of our humour section.

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