Petitioners on BC campus are seen as nuisance to students

Victoria Miller, Opinions Editor

Petitioners have been regularly seen walking around campus and asking students to sign their petitions. However, the policies regarding petitioning are unclear to some students.

3B7 of the KCCD policy on business services states, “The administrative procedures promulgated by the Chancellor or designee shall not prohibit the right of students to exercise free expression, including but not limited to the use of bulletin boards, the distribution of printed materials or petitions and the wearing of buttons, badges, or other insignia.”

Nicky Damania, director of student life, says petitioning is permitted at Bakersfield College, whether it’s a student or non-student doing the petitioning. “We do provide for people from the community to have petitions, pass out literature, etc. We would rather that they do stay in the free speech area if they are not students.”

For some students, the petitioners have been seen as a slight form of harassment.

Jessica Karr, a student at BC, expressed her feelings about the petitioners. “I’m just trying to get to class on time, and I get annoyed when they insist that you come speak with them about signing their petition. It’s more of a nuisance that I try to avoid.”

In the state of California, petitioners can get paid for every signature they receive per petition. According to, payments range anywhere from $1 to $10 per signature. This leads critics to argue that payment per signature encourages fraud, such as forging signatures or manipulating people to sign their petitions by misrepresenting the content of the petitions.

Besides petitioning, some students have said petitioners on campus have asked them to buy things, such as raffle tickets.

Damania explains if people are selling anything, they are considered to be a vendor, and both petitioners and vendors are required to check in with the Office of Student Life for approval. If the Office of Student Life hasn’t approved these vendors, Damania asks to please report them to Public Safety.