Walking to the Matador Bookstore to go to Freudian Sip can sometimes be annoying when people are standing in your way trying to get you to join this or donate money for that. Sometimes, walking to class and passing through Sierra Quad can be a difficult task when there are groups trying to get your attention left and right.
Do not get this mixed up with free speech. People are able to utilize their freedom of speech anywhere on the campus; even though that is allowed, the distribution of literature is not, said Vicki Allen, assistant director of the Matador Involvement Center.
If you’re wondering why Sierra Quad and the Matador Bookstore are the places where you see organizations trying to get your attention the most, it is because Sierra Quad and the Bookstore are the two places on campus where flyers are allowed to be handed out to students, said Allen.
By filling out an application located in the Matador Involvement Center, almost anyone can distribute literature in these two places, said Tom Piernik, director of student development and international program.
Kelvin VanBuen, a member of Greater Victory Assembly of Faith, is an example of a person who stands in front of the bookstore to solicit students’ attention and information. While observing VanBuen at work, students had different responses. Some students quickly walked by him without giving him any eye contact whatsoever; then there were those who actually stopped and listened to what he had to say. He was asking for donations for transitional homes for women. VanBuen used many tactics to try to get students to listen to what he had to say, including giving students compliments.
“My, you look gorgeous today,” VanBuen said as a female student walked by.
Although these types of strategies are used, they do not always work.
“This is my fourth year going to CSUN and I’ve learned how to ignore them,” said CSUN student Bertha Gomez.
Other solicitors just stay seated the entire time and let people come to them. For example, there was a man who was selling yoga books outside the bookstore who said students had been very responsive.
“I get annoyed when I am walking to class and one of those people try to stop and tell me stuff I care nothing about,” said CTVA major Lorena Acevedo.
Those passing out leaflets sometimes belong to political or religious organizations, or clubs affiliated with CSUN, said Allen.
Not everyone is aware of CSUN’s policy concerning the distribution of pamphlets. Those who want to post information about a certain event sometimes do this without campus approval. This type of act is not allowed, and therefore disciplinary procedures have taken place, Allen said.
Those who are in violation of campus policy regarding the passing out of leaflets to students are sent a notification.
The CSUN campus sees most literature given out during the first week of school, said Allen.
There are no designated areas for free speech on the CSUN campus. Basically, anyone can speak anywhere. Speaking your mind is not limited to any specific area. A person can be in Sierra Quad, a classroom, in the G4 parking lot, or anywhere else and be allowed to express their freedom of speech. If someone would like a platform to express their freedom of speech, they can be accommodated with the use of the Matador Square, which lies west of the University Student Union, said Piernik.