You’re rushing across campus, lugging your books as you power walk to make a class that starts in three minutes, when a stranger waving a flyer gets in your face and stops you. “Excuse me… Excuse me… Real quick…”
It happens all too often. Students on their way to class get stopped by someone outside of Pierce who is handing out flyers. Most of the time, this is unsolicited irritation for someone pursuing their education.
This sort of thing can be a big distraction. Advertisers can be aggressive. They sometimes do everything short of blockading students just to get their attention. Most of the time, students are not interested in whatever is being promoted and just feel awkward trying to get past the person passing out the flyer. A college student has enough on their mind and shouldn’t have to worry about feeling uncomfortable walking through campus.
Most of the flyers passed out end up in the trash. This is a huge waste of paper and is bad for the environment. Many of these flyers don’t even make it to the trash and end up littering our campus. If people want to be solicited, they can opt into electronic correspondence.
There could be even more troubling consequences allowing people outside of Pierce to pass out flyers. Their motives for being on campus are not to pursue an education. This same person would likely not feel obligated to follow the same code of conduct that a student or staff member would be expected to uphold.
There is also the issue of safety in many different respects. Allowing people outside of Pierce to freely pass out flyers on campus could provide a convenient alibi for someone with bad intentions, such as stealing or harming others.
When we allow people to pass out flyers, it suggests that anybody is free to solicit at Pierce. Our Free Speech Area should be designated for school-related endeavors, such as promoting school clubs or services. Permitting people to pass out flyers may cause them to feel that they have the green light to collect signatures or badger people to sign up for gym memberships or newspaper subscriptions.
The issue with this sort of thing is that a rushed student may be inclined to oblige without consideration of where their information may be used. Furnishing private information to “change legislation” may or may not be legitimate; however, someone in a hurry is less likely to stop and request credentials.
It’s appropriate for people on campus to promote their agendas when they are part of the education system. Pierce should be an area that is not littered with flyers promoting outside interests and our students should not be subject to being bombarded.