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Solicitors on Campus?

Trent from Jimmy John's

Maybe you have noticed solicitors on Washtenaw campus or maybe you have not. Take Trent here from Jimmy John’s who was stationed outside the overhang between the GM and the LA building today.

Trent was handing out free sandwiches and menus to passersby and from the looks of it, he was getting many takers.

On other occasions the US Military was soliciting WCC students in the Student Center with “surveys.” There was a guy in a low-key Military uniform in front of the Student Center as people walked in the door. They are there a lot.

Unless you really looked you could not tell he was from the miliary. Is this a special uniform for military recruitment spies?

I asked him what he was doing on campus and he said that he was with the Navy.

I then asked if he was recruiting and he said he was just taking surveys, which is really code for soft sell recruiting.

Now,  both Jimmy John’s and the Military are regulars on campus. Representatives from the Military have been on campus for both Welcome Days, and Transfer Day and Career Day. 

Jimmy John’s is a regular for Welcome days as well and they are here all of the time making delivers.

Turkey Sandwich

So why are these groups both sneaking on campus to grab some extra pitch time with WCC students?

Now I really don’t have an issue with these two groups in general.

The real issue is having outside businesses/groups solicit students without permission.

The deal is that groups need to reserve a table with Student Activities in order to solicit to students.

“If they are walking around campus and are not at a table, they do not have permission,” said Liz Elliott of Student Activities.

So far soliciting has not got out of hand, but if not kept in check, WCC could be like the mall where students will have to dodge perfume sprays and folks trying to get us to change our cell phone service.

I say that if you do not have permission to be here, then you should not be here.

Are they trespassing?

At the time of this posting, I could not get an answer from campus security, but I will update this post tomorrow.

Update: I talked with Jeffrey Shoemaker, Supervisor of Campus Safety and Security at WCC.

He said that WCC campus is considered public, so technically they (solicitors) would not be considered trespassing, but he noted that if students/staff complained about the behavior of a solicitor, they would ask them to leave.

During the fall term, non-students were hanging out in the Student Center and their were several complaints, so security did step in.

Both the Military representive in the Student Center and Jimmy John’s are low-key, so there may have not been a complaint about them, but I still feel that allowing solicitors on campus creates a slippy slope for more groups to come on campus to market to WCC students once they know they will not be prevented from doing so.

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