I'm all for supporting good causes, but there is little that gets under my skin quite like those pesky volunteers that stand on corners around campus soliciting money for various charities. Whether it’s dying polar bears or women's rights, most are obnoxious and all are extremely hard to avoid.
I’d say it’s my Southern aversion to confrontation; maybe others would call it naiveté. But once freshman year, on the corner of 40th and Walnut, I fell into the trap: some bubbly, curly-haired and over-pierced Greenpeace petitioner caught my attention. I didn't want to offend and at first, I thought a signature would be enough to win my freedom back from her captivating, yet slightly smelly presence. But after a 20-minute spiel about dying rainforests and ravished ecosystems, this ‘corner crusader’ revealed her actual objective.
“You can do so much, just by making a small pledge.”
“Oh, no sorry I don’t have any cash on me,” I replied (read: I wanted to save my cash for iced coffee and a grilled cheese at Metro, and didn’t have the balls to say so).
“That’s okay! You can just give us your credit card number!”
“I’m actually not ready to commit to something right now; do you have a website where I could make a pledge later?” At this point, I was just trying to wiggle politely out of the situation.
“No, we don’t have that set up yet. We can also take your bank account information, though.” Seriously? Not only is the part about not having a way to donate over the Internet a bold-faced lie, but do they honestly expect students to hand over their financial information to strangers on street corners? Needless to say, I mustered up the courage and (Green)peaced.
Really, I'm not an apathetic snob. But there are so many more effective ways to make a difference on campus. Just ask our Ego of the Week (pg. 4) or the senior societies that raised thousands for Haiti last Thursday. I'm down for saving the world, but don't guilt trip me on the way to class.
'til next week, SB