OPINION: ATTN. solicitors: stop harassing students

By Stephanie Guevara

Solicitors at the free speech area must stop using their jobs as an excuse to flirt with women.

On Wednesday, as I walked by the E3 building, I was approached by one of these so called solicitors who was selling Carl’s Jr. coupon pamphlets.

He approached me incognito, but when I showed no interest in buying the pamphlet, he asked me a series of inappropriate questions, such as “Can I have your number?”

He then asked me if I could give him my social media information so he could search for me online. I told him I was running late to class so he could leave me alone, but he followed me. I felt harassed because he didn’t take “no” for an answer.

According to Marilyn Ladd, founder of the ELAC Sexual Assault Awareness Violence Education Team, (SAAVE) a person doesn’t have to physically abuse someone else for it to be considered harassment. Verbal abuse or  unwelcome behavior can also be a form of harassment.

UsLegal.com defines harassment as a course of conduct that annoys, intimidates and alarms a person. It can involve derogatory comments and unwanted behavior. That is what these solicitors are doing.

Absolutely no one at East Los Angeles College should have to go through that experience. Not all solicitors act in that manner, but those who do should be stopped.

I’m sure I haven’t been the only one to experience this because I’ve seen other women get approached in this way.

The person who was selling Carl’s Jr. pamphlets isn’t the only one doing this.

Some men who ask for petitions approach women with those intentions. During my first semester at ELAC I was approached by a man asking for petition signatures  in a flirtatious way.

After he ask for a signature, he followed up with, “Do you have a boyfriend?” Now that this has happened to me twice, I cannot keep quiet because measures have to be taken.

Everyone who has gone through this should speak out against it so the harassment can end.

Title IX is an education amendment that says all campuses should be free of any sort of violence, which includes harassment. The amendment also says if such acts are found, disciplinary procedures should take place.

These men should be held accountable for their wrongful actions.

Students, staff or faculty at ELAC should report these types of actions to the Sheriff’s Department on campus or speak to one of the members of the SAAVE team.

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