Campus Conversations: Petitioners disrupting students

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Interviews and photos by Lindsey Tovar & John Michael Guerrero

Questions asked:

  1. How do you feel about the petitioners?
  2. Have you signed a petition?
  3. If so did they push you to sign it or did you willingly want to? If not, do you think majority of the signatures are authentic or from pressure?
  4. Have you been harassed or felt harassed by any of these petitioners? If so, what was your experience?

Q1 “I will say in general I understand that it’s people doing their job, so I just politely decline.”

Q2 “I have signed one petition before and it was something that I already knew about, so I was comfortable.”

Q3 “I will say I think it’s part of their job to actually push people to do it. I do think that it may not be the best thing to have students who are rushing to class, rushing to go study, running around having them sign petitions for certain things.”

Q4 “I’ll say in general I don’t think I’ve been harassed at all, there’s even some petitioners that are obviously uncomfortable, don’t really know how to talk to people trying to walk past them.”

– Perla Valenzuela

Q1 “It’s a little awkward when people come up asking you to sign stuff, but other than that not really.”

Q2 “No, I don’t think so.”

Q3 “They’re probably not authentic. They’re probably just signing it to kinda get them out the way or because they feel bad.”

Q4 “No usually if they ask and I say no thank you, they just kinda leave it at that.”

– Juda Smith

Q1 “I mean it’s okay I guess, people approach you sometimes and they just try to get your response.””

Q2 “Yeah I’ve signed like two.”
Q3 “I signed it because I wanted to, I wanted to help out. I feel that that’s good, to help out your fellow people, help out Riverside and California.”

Q4 “No, I’ve never felt harassed.”

– Antoine Price

Q1 & Q2 “They haven’t really asked me too much or gone up to me, I have signed a few waivers (and petitions).”

Q3 “Not really, if I don’t have time or want to interact with someone then they leave me be. It’s not like don’t try to go out of their way to get people to sign.”

Q4 “I wouldn’t say so, sometimes they can be a little much. I don’t think I have seen any of them take it too far.”

– Matthew Garcia

Q1 “Personally they don’t really bother me too much.”

Q2 “No.”

Q3 “I feel like they do pressure people to sign (the petitions), simply because they do approach us in groups.”

Q4 “I don’t really think they harass anyone, but I have seen some of them talk to campus security.”

– Kylie Fiechter

Q1 “I think petitioning in general is a good thing, however I feel like (petitioners) are out to get signatures rather than explaining what the signatures are for.”

Q2 “Yes, but only the ones I know the full policies of.”

Q3 “Not necessarily, more like in a polite way.”

Q4 “No, I have not seen any of that.”

– Parker Mol

Q1 “I have only seen them once or twice for things like voter registration, teacher’s salaries and educational debt.”

Q2 “Yes, multiple times throughout the fall of 2021 to the present. It’s a lot of signatures but of course I am always aware (of the petitions) and make sure to read them. I am always suspicious if it might be a scam.”

Q3 “No, not really. No of them have pushed me or threatened me (to sign). They ask me calmly (to sign) and ask me questions (that relates to the petitions) politely.”

Q4 “Never, I have not seen that in particular.”

– Josue Juan Zamora

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