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PC Katie Hardy

Solicitation frustration: are breezeway sellers too obtrusive?

If you have ever rushed from The Commons to your next class, there is a good chance that you have encountered organizations fundraising in the breezeway. Be it a bake sale, hot drinks or homemade wares, they may have stopped you on your way to class.

Opinions on the breezeway sellers seem split amongst students. Many find them to be obtrusive, interrupting their daily routine. Other students don’t mind the sellers.

Sam Everett, a sophomore studying computer science, barely notices the fundraising organizations. He admitted that he doesn’t travel through the breezeway very often, but when he does he isn’t bothered.

“It’s a pretty open space,” Everett said. “It’s not like they’re totally in the way or that disruptive.”

Megan Critzman, a senior global studies major, notices organizations in the breezeway, but doesn’t mind them. As a transfer student, she has experienced organizations outside of the university who were much more obtrusive than the ones at UMBC.

“They would stalk you down,” Critzman said of the organizations at her old school. “They walked with you and here they just stand at a table.”

Although Critzman is not annoyed by breezeway sellers, she tries to avoid certain groups.

“When it’s the clubs there, more so like the frats, they’re always really in your face,” she said.

Sarah Georgiou, a senior psychology major, disagrees with Critzman. She feels that the breezeway is a bad place for organizations to raise funds. “They trap you in a tube so you can’t say no,” Georgiou said.

Although she finds the organizations annoying, Georgiou likes that they are raising money for a good cause. She thinks that relocating their booths would be an effective solution. “I think it would be more efficient if they did it in The Commons Main Street because it’s indoors. That’s not a major vein of traffic,” she said.

Jessica Ferris, a sophomore studying psychology has been on both sides of the sales pitch. As a part of the Comics and Other Media club, Ferris helped sell comic books and cupcakes to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Ferris and her club received some success selling only if they were able to get students’ attention.

“We’d explain it and they’d be like, ‘oh, it is for a good cause’ and then they buy some stuff,” she said.

However, Ferris noted that most students responded negatively to her booth or ignored her. She understands, as she also has been solicited by organizations in the breezeway.

“If you’re going through the breezeway, you’re trying to get somewhere. I can’t just stop and choose which cupcake I want to buy,” she said.