Mesa College Targeted by Signature Gatherers


Petitioner Asking For Signatures. Photo Credit: MCT Campus.

Adriana Orozco, Opinions Editor

There has been an increase of signature gatherers in the recent semesters at San Diego Mesa College. Most gathers briefly stop students, ask for a signature and politely go on their way. However, since the start of the Fall Semester, there has been an increase in incidents relating to petitioners. 

Sasha Carter, a Geology professor at Mesa, discussed during an interview “I did a quick inquiry on my class, 90% of my students reported experiencing bad behavior.” Carter also revealed that he and some staff members had also been victims of signature gathers.

Professor Carter explained, “I told my students about this situation and about half the class reported similar harassment around campus, it was at this moment when I came to realize that it wasn’t just one or two bad actors but a system-wide problem.”

The San Diego Community College District Police Department reported a citizen contact on the 20th of August where signature gatherers were fighting with a group that was recording them, the following day a preserving the peace was reported where a signature gather harassed students to sign a petition. Similar reports were issued the following days according to the police log. However, Mesa Police disclosed that they have increased patrols to avoid similar incidents.

Students reported being harassed and insulted by petitioners. Two students J.T and Joshua Foster both recall being woken up when taking a nap by a signature gather. “I was sleeping inside the Mesa Commons when I got woken up by one and asked if they could get a signature, I told him that he couldn’t be in here and he ignored me and kept telling me he just wanted a signature, I just ended up getting up and leaving” Joshua describes. Victoria Munoz also had an incident with a petitioner grabbing her shoulders and arms. “He was touchy and way too personal, it was the worst experience I’ve had, I ended up signing it.”

It is important to remember that they have the right to free speech. According to the San Diego Mesa College Guidelines for Free Speech Activities “The San Diego Community College District guarantees freedom of expression that such expression does not result in a disruption of the orderly operations of campus and District programs or activities.”

If students or staff are being harassed they are encouraged to report it either to Campus Police or the Office of Student Affairs in Room I4-408 or by telephone (619) 388-2699. Mesa College Campus should be a peaceful and safe environment for everyone.