As I was writing and revising my personal statements, I overheared what was a rather nasty breakup outside of the window shortly after midnight.
I know that personal relationships are not my business in general, and in this case, my involvement was a brief but stern question to the young couple if everything was okay and if they wanted to discuss their issues inside the lobby of the building I worked at instead of the freezing cold outside. I also offered hot coffee or tea. The ulterior intention was to insure that there was no violence in what was an emotionally charged argument.
The result was that he flipped me off and she declined. I replied if she was sure; she said yes and they went off into the night.
With this said, my questions are:
Were my actions appropriate as a staff member of the university (who was basically about the same age as the presumed undergraduate couple ranging from 18–22 and myself at 23)?
Would my actions be appropriate as a graduate student and TA in general regardless of circumstance (affiliation in my group, unknown student in general)?
Would the same actions be appropriate for a professor?