Why are students being asked to give their signatures on campus?

Amelia Simmons, Police Reporter

Students on campus have been asked to sign waivers by people around campus for years, however, this semester these interactions seem to be at an all-time high. Students are seemingly unable to spend a day on campus without running into one of these people. 

Spinnaker reached out to UNF political science professor, Michael Binder, to see if he had any answers. Binder explained why these people are typically asking for signatures, 

Typically, if the signatures are done on behalf of a political party – usually for voter registration, they are often not paid. Similarly, if it’s for a candidate attempting to get signatures to qualify for the ballot, they are rarely paid. Conversely, when typically done in support of a ballot measure, those folks are more likely than not getting paid.”

It is quite often that organizations will also use the opportunity to get signatures from students on college campuses for things such as legislation and ballots for future elections, according to Binder.

 Someone filling out Petition Form. Image by Hailshadow via Unsplash (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Spinnaker was able to talk to one of the people that has been looking for signatures on campus. Yamani Wright works with Advanced Micro Targeting, a petitioning company, and was tabling outside of the UNF library on Sep. 30th asking students for signatures. Wright was able to give a little more insight into exactly what the tabling was for that day,

“It’s political, but for this petition in particular it is impartial, it’s completely impartial. We’re trying to get sports event betting on the ballot, online sports betting, and what we’ll do is we’ll tax the sports betting so we can use it to supplement public schools all over Florida. Fifteen percent of the proceeds go towards it. It’s kind of a win-win for those who like gambling and for those who want to support public education.” 

Wright is not the only petitioner on campus. Spinnaker was informed that there are a lot of other petitioners with other organizations and companies that are looking for signatures for a multitude of other topics. Wright said that there are some for getting casinos on the ballot, others for voter registration, and one for increasing jobs. 

Spinnaker asked Wright if the people who are looking to get signatures are being paid for what they are doing on campus.

“We do. Some get paid by the hourly, like me, I get paid by the hour and some get paid per signature. Voter registration is actually volunteer.”

If students want to get involved and join what the petitioners are doing, Wright said they can look up Advanced Micro Targeting on Indeed to gather more information. As for voter registration, because it is volunteer work, Wright said all students have to do is look it up to find the right number to contact and start from there. 

signing paperwork isolated on black. Image by greenleaf123 via Unsplash (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The services Advanced Micro Targeting offers as described on their website reads as followed,

Your campaign or cause is unique.Every project deserves its own unique plan. Our team has decades of experience running campaigns and initiatives of all sizes and scopes. We specialize in Ballot Qualification, Voter Contact and GOTV, Grassroots and Grasstops organizing and micro-targeted direct mail.”

It is important for students to find out information about what the petitioners are asking for signatures for as there are a multitude of different purposes for them on campus. However, there is a bit of a clearer explanation as to what exactly they are doing. The petitioners are allowed to operate on campus “as long as they don’t infringe with normal university operations,” according to Student Union Director Jennifer Nutt. 


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