Walking around campus, students can sometimes see white canopies and tables near the library or elsewhere in the quad. Under these canopies might be people selling things, attempting to get people to apply for a job or even expressing their beliefs about animal rights or abortion.
Outside groups can come onto campus to sell things, recruit potential employees or espouse political beliefs. Some of the groups, such as those that sell products, have a contract and a process they must go through before they can set up a table. These contracts, in turn, give funds to the school to help provide for programs, scholarships, events and other opportunities for students.
Most groups, like the people who can occasionally be seen handing out brochures about animal cruelty or the pro-life group, Project Truth, which was on campus last semester, can come to campus whenever they want. There are only a few guidelines for these groups, and they don’t have to pay anything.
“We don’t provide anything for these people, if they come on then they come on,” Cynthia Ross, Director of student life at Las Positas College, said. “The only thing is, they can’t do anything that impedes a student’s progress, or can be determined as harassing the students.”
Ross said that it is preferred for all groups that come onto campus to check in with Campus Safety, but that there is no way to actually enforce that. There used to be only a certain area that these groups were supposed to stay in, which was the 1700 building patio, but with the changing of the free speech policy a few years ago, the entire campus is now considered a free speech area.
The groups that are selling products or trying to find potential employees, however, must sign a contract with Ross and pay $100 per table per day. Vendors that sell products on campus are not allowed to sell anything that might put a student in financial jeopardy; this includes signing students up for credit cards. As far as employers go, they must be an equal opportunity employer, which means there must be no discrimination in their hiring policies.
These vendors and other groups can often be seen near the library, but they have the potential to speak or sell there wares anywhere on campus. In the end, this policy can create money for the school and has the potential to benefit students.