Petitioners harrass students


It’s that time of year when people are standing in front of grocery stores and walking around campus with clipboards and pens trying to solicit signatures.

Last week a friend and I were about to sit down on the steps in between Shima and West Forum when a petitioner approached us.

The petitioners gave us a quick, vague and somewhat confusing description of the ballot they were pitching, much like a used car salesman greasing a potential client.

A clipboard was already pointed, waiting for me to sign, before they were even done talking.

My first reaction: “I am sorry. I need more information on that before I sign anything.”

They looked at me as if I’d stuck a knife in their back, sneezed on their food, ran over their puppy or told them there was no Santa Claus.

The petitioners gave me an uninspiring ramble about how I shouldn’t want men using the women’s bathroom. In turn, they expected a happy signature.

This ballot wasn’t even about men being able to use woman’s bathrooms legally.

It’s a bill allowing elementary-school children to establish their own gender beginning in kindergarten.

Although, there is more to this bill, the point is that people shouldn’t take what these petitioners say as absolute fact.

The breaking point in this frustration was watching another friend of mine from across the quad getting the same speech from the same petitioner and, without skipping a beat, she signed the paper with a smile on her face.

It was like watching a train wreck.

There’s no problem with people being enthusiastic about politics, but know what you’re getting into before you just hand anything over.

It’s reminiscent of that ominous car insurance commercial where the guy asks the girl where she got her facts from.

Her response: “The Internet.”

If people weren’t so distracted by beating that intense level of Candy Crush or replanting their eggplants in Farmville, there might be more time to look up current issues.

Surrendering your signature to be helpful or politically active, without the proper knowledge, isn’t the way to contribute anything.

That is what these petitioners are forcing people to do.

They are making people feel obligated to sign a petition by using aggressive tactics.

Use the technology that can be taken for granted to be aware of what’s going on in our world.

Arm yourself by gathering knowledge before acting, and it might help you make better decisions for the future.