As a sea of CSUN students walk under Sierra Tower and through Sierra Quad, solicitors try to catch their attention. Some of the targeted students stop to see what is being offered, but most of them continue on their way while claiming they are late for class, or that they have to go to work. Others keep walking without even taking notice of the person trying to flag them down.
‘It can get really annoying,’ said senior Scott Linton. ‘I understand why they’re here, but after so long you just tend to get tired of them sometimes. It feels like there is so many of them sometimes and I think that’s something that should be regulated better.’
Those wishing to solicit must first get registered with the Matador Involvement Center by filling out the proper forms. Then, they must conduct their activities in correspondence with the time, place, and manner policies.
‘These policies allow the institution to regulate activities,’ said Vicki Allen, assistant director for Student Involvement at the Matador Involvement Center. ‘They are put into place to make sure that the campus and its ability to function properly aren’t harmed by solicitors.’
In regards to time, solicitors are permitted to be on campus during general operating hours, from 8 a.m to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The three areas where solicitors can hand out information are Magnolia Walk, Sierra Walk, and Matador Walk, and they are not allowed inside classrooms, offices, or other facilities such as dining areas. As far as manner goes, solicitors are required to approach students withcourtesy and respect, and they are to use their ‘normal voice’, meaning no microphones or other similar objects. The last policy is the one that appears to cause the most issues with the students who are being tracked down by solicitors.
‘I usually just ignore them if I’m not interested,’ said Linton, a mechanical engineer major. ‘They get really pushy though, blocking my path and following me for a little while trying to talk to me.’
Allen said the best way to tell a solicitor that you aren’t interested is to politely tell them just that. If at any time, they are acting against policy rules, Allen said it is best to file a complaint with her office.
‘We don’t have the employees to go out and monitor all of the solicitors,’ said Allen. ‘We asked that students let us know if they run into any problems with them so that we can act accordingly.’
However, Allen said that CSUN isn’t responsible for students who dish out money or credit card information in exchange for a good or service.
‘The students are all adults,’ said Allen. ‘They have to decide for themselves if they trust giving out their personal information and they have to deal with the consequences of doing so if they don’t receive everything they paid for.’
One solicitor didn’t seem to have many problems with students on campus.
‘I understand that not everybody is going to want the information that I am offering,’ said Maria Ramirez, who was distributing information on the upcoming presidential elections. ‘If they don’t want it, I move on. It’s such a diverse campus, which is one of the main reasons I am here so I can reach as many people as possible.
However, with the diversity I understand that people have different views,’ said Ramirez. ‘I think I’m accepting to that without annoying anyone.’
For any questions, complaints, or concerns about solicitors on campus, the Matador Involvement Center is located on the first floor of the Sol Center and can be reached at (818) 677-5111.