Define before you sign

“There’s nothing wrong with supporting a good cause, especially if you believe in what you’re doing. The thing that most students may not understand, however, is that they may be supporting something for all the wrong reasons. From time to time, you may notice petitioners around campus, and you may have even been asked once or twice to sign a petition.”

There’s nothing wrong with supporting a good cause, especially if you believe in what you’re doing.

The thing that most students may not understand, however, is that they may be supporting something for all the wrong reasons.

From time to time, you may notice petitioners around campus, and you may have even been asked once or twice to sign a petition.

They’ll probably tell you how important your signature is to them and that you will be supporting a good cause.

They’re not lying about your signature, and while the cause is important to them, chances are, they probably care very little about whether or not it means anything to you.

Perhaps something they say will intrigue you, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Petitioners are allowed to be here, and you’re more than welcome to sign or refuse any petition.

However, students should be aware that they want your signatures, and they’re probably going to choose their words carefully.

When you think about it, it kind of works like a sales pitch. You’re not necessarily going to be lied to, but chances are, they’re only going to tell you what they think you want to hear.

Students should take note of this before ever signing anything, and they should also remember that it is important to know all of the facts.

You may feel like it doesn’t matter to you one way or the other.

If that’s the case, you are safer not signing anything at all.

Yes, it’s always possible that whatever the cause is, it may not directly affect you, but there’s always a chance that it does.

Let’s pretend hypothetically that you are having lunch in the Student Union and you are approached by a man with a clipboard.

It’s right around voting season, and he tells you he’s collecting signatures for a particular issue on the ballot.

While the issue sounds vaguely familiar, you know little about it.

He presents a convincing case, and the way it sounds, signing his petition could be beneficial.

It probably is beneficial to someone, but what he will most likely fail to mention is where you factor into the equation.

If your knowledge on the issue is limited, you’re never going to know.

There’s no shame in not knowing all the facts about something, and you should certainly be encouraged to learn more about the issue if it interests you.

On the same token, there’s nothing wrong with having particular feelings towards one issue and then changing your mind later.

What is most important is that you fully understand what you are or aren’t supporting.

Don’t feel pressured into signing anything.

Sometimes petitioners can come off as pushy, but never forget that it is just as much your right to refuse as it is theirs to ask.

Put some thought into your decision-making, and don’t let anyone pull the wool over your eyes.

You can’t be forced to do anything. So in turn, don’t make a forced decision.