Letter to the editor
UC solicitation awareness
April 1, 2011
As a student at UWRF that pays big bucks for the operations of the University Center, I think that students would benefit to know that while inside the UC, you are protected from solicitors. I was approached by a well-dressed man who with no introduction asked if I had signed the recall petition yet. After kindly telling him that I hadn’t gotten around to it, my friend and I assured that he was aware of the UC anti-solicitation policy, but he seemed uninterested.
This is not about Walker’s bill and/or attacking the left (it’s only a matter of time before some ignoramus rightist approaches me about stopping Obama from taking his guns away)—this is about what you can do to stop solicitors from political, recreational, sports, religious, and really any organizations from bothering you.
First, know the policy. According to the University center policy and procedures manual, “groups are not allowed to approach students or others using University
Centers facilities” but “are allowed to disperse information to students from behind a table”. This means that you can be on your merry way and groups are prohibited from even asking you to check out their table. If someone approaches you, respectfully tell them that you’re not interested. If they persist, turn the game around and ask them for contact information for the organization they are acting with and for that person’s name. This will usually get them squirrely enough to back down, but if not, verbally remind them of the anti-solicitation policy in the UC.
The most important thing is that these groups see consequences. Don’t walk away and leave the next unfortunate student victim to solicitation. Instead, take thirty seconds to talk with the employees behind the desk and ask them to alert their manager, giving any information you have about the group. Typically, groups settle down after getting a talking to, letting us return to our lives.
As for you pesky solicitors out there (you know who you are), I respect your beliefs, so respect mine and leave me alone.