Luis Solis | Staff Writer
May 1, 2014
Recently, there has been an infestation of annoying pests around the Riverside City College campus asking people to take a minute of their time to sign their petitions.
At first, the petitioners were not that much of a bother, but eventually they ended up all over the campus, constantly pestering about signing their petitions.
A student can’t walk from class to the cafeteria without being stopped to ask to sign a petition and it starts to get annoying especially when you’re late to class.
Not only can you find them in front of the Martin Luther King Building but also in the school cafeteria, Lovekin field, the Quadrangle and the parking lots.
They tell people it is only going to take a minute but after you sign a petition they ask you to sign another petition and eventually you end up signing eight of them.
Petitioners complete the process so quickly that people don’t get enough time to read what the petition is for. When a person tries to ask them a question about the petition they never have a clear answer.
Half the time the petitioners themselves don’t know what they’re asking people to sign. Each petitioner gets paid according to petitioner Jimmy Willing.
“I get paid one dollar per signature,” Willing said.
To me it seems that all they care about is a way to make easy money.
After signing all the petitions they ask you to fill out a voter registration form where you write all your private information such as first and last name, home address, the last four digits of your Social Security number and your signature.
I don’t feel comfortable giving my information to a stranger that I just met. Who the hell knows what they might use my information for? “We do turn them in to the voter registration office or a government office or something like that,” Willing said.
If that’s really the case then I should be able to turn my voter registration in myself since there’s a mailbox next to the Admission and Counseling Office, but most of the time they end up keeping the form.
With today’s technology if that information falls in the wrong hands your credit can be harmed because a thief can forge your signature in credit cards and check fraud schemes.
The school should find a way to monitor the petitioners or at least limit their presence on campus just as they do with the vendors on campus.
“Many of the petitioners work for other organizations who work for the county, so I might not know them or be affiliated with them,” Willing said.
As students we have no concrete way of knowing if the petitioners really work for an official organization, so every time a student signs a petition they are putting themselves for identity at risk of identify theft.