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A Guide To Staying Anti-Social on a Social Campus

Student talks to a Defend Our Future volunteer at the organization’s table set in the Lory Student Center at CSU. Photo credit: Abby Flitton

Use these five tips to avoid being approached on campus when you are feeling truly anti-social.


1. The buddy system

A student walking alone to class is perfect prey for interest group representatives. Like in the wild, having companions will make you less vulnerable. Walking around with a friend while in deep conversation should deter some representatives. Usually, general common decency will halt them from stopping you and asking for a moment of your time. If you and your friends have classes at similar times, consider walking together to avoid being picked off as a stray by these interest groups.


2. The oldest trick in the book: your phone

If you are unable to recruit some friends, your phone can also do the trick. Chances are, if you are listening to music or on the phone, most people will be deterred from talking to you and forcing a pen and petition into your hands. The type of music will not necessarily matter, but a case could be made that listening to Nickelback would deter even the most passionate and eager representatives. For phone conversations, any subject should suffice. However, if you want to be sure no one will stop you, quickly change the topic of your conversation to one about the rash you have or how your hemorrhoid cream has not come in the mail yet once they are in earshot. It would be a good idea to always have earbuds in when walking around campus, especially around the plaza.


3. The gaze

If you have unfortunately forgotten your phone, or are unable to get it out in time, you have become extremely vulnerable to the most elementary of tactics employed by these representatives: eye contact. Once you have made eye contact with one of these petitioners, they have complete power over you. At their mercy, you will no doubt be stopped and coerced into listening to their spiel. Avoiding making eye contact is crucial at this stage. Finding one thing to fixate on until you have passed the group is a clever trick to appear extremely disinterested and hopefully less approachable.


4. The bluff

Your worst nightmare has come true: you have been stopped on the way to class by an interest group. In order to enjoy the rest of your day, you have got to weasel your way out of listening to their spiel. You want to be nice though, the truth of you not caring about their cause and not even wanting to hear them out would be a little rude, there is a more effective alternative. When approached, begin to exhibit symptoms of your favorite disease. Begin coughing, sneezing uncontrollably or try and shoot some snot out of your nostril. Hopefully, this will leave the representative disgusted and provide you with enough time to hastily keep walking and enjoy your day.


5. The last resort

Against all odds, you have somehow been identified, stopped and are now being given some spiel about the importance of something the local congressman should care about. You certainly do not and all your attempts to avoid caring have failed. Except for one. You did not want it to come to this but you have no other choice. Yell “fire” as loud as you can, causing a commotion in which you can make your escape.

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