Soliciting stress on campus

When he first started asking students to join LA Fitness, Boris Arias felt the cold shoulder from students as a solicitor on the Cerritos College campus.

“Because it is my first sales job, when I started working here it was pretty tough because I got rejected a lot,” Arias said.

“The students didn’t like the idea of our one week passes because they felt we were trying to catch them in.”

Through different approaches, other solicitors experience similar reactions to Arias’ from the students.

When it comes to vendors on campus, the one thing students can all agree on is that they don’t like being harassed.

“Obviously people don’t want to be insulted or bugged,” psychology major Genesis Arreaga said.

While advocating free tuition for higher education with the Peace and Freedom Party, James Joseph said he preferred to sit at his table and wait for student to approach him because he couldn’t relay his message if he was following students.

“I prefer not to harass the students. I think that if they don’t like what I’m saying, they can leave. Those who want to talk to me will come,” said Joseph.

With this mindset, more students are likely to feel comfortable, according to Cecilia Palomera, a psychology major.

“As long as they don’t bug me or harass me on my way to class, like by trying to stop me, I’m okay with them. But if I want the information I’m definitely going to go toward the booth.”

Students’ attitude toward solicitors depends not only on the way the vendors approach the students, but also on how the students feel at that specific time, Arreaga said.

“If the student is having a good day, he or she will cooperate, but if they’re rushing to class, they’ll most likely want them (solicitors) to back off.”

Arreaga only had a problem when a man tried to spread the word of God through an obscene act.

“There was a guy here that had a huge sign that said, “You’re going to Hell!” Arreaga said.

“Because I’m someone who believes, I know it is something they’re supposed to be doing, but there are other ways to (spread the word).”

Despite the struggle of being shot down, Arias saw his presence as beneficial to the campus.

“I’m a life changer. That’s what I call myself because I feel I’m out here to change a life by promoting fitness and wellness,” Arias said.

“I don’t feel I’m selling anything, I just feel like I’m spreading the word.”

Melissa Duenas, a chemistry major, also said that LA fitness was the most relevant booth on the Cerritos College Campus because it encourages students to exercise.

“College is stressful and students overwhelm themselves and gain a lot of weight because of it,” Duenas said.