Students learn faces; U home to diverse crew

by Sam Kean

Every school day 60,000 people appear on the University campus. That might not seem possible, but wait a few months. There aren’t many other places in the state with such a flood of faces, faces, faces.

Still, some faces become more familiar than others. Most people don’t personally know them, but they could definitely pick them out of a police line-up:

The credit card people

They’re engaging and outgoing, and they rope in student after student. Beware. There might be free T-shirts or coupons, but students also get a credit card with interest rates of up to 25 percent. Just remember they try to sign up students for a reason: An increasing amount of credit card debt belongs to college students, and they’re fairly sure parents will pick up the bill when students can’t.

Miscellaneous religious folk

Christian evangelists, led by the infamous Brother Jed (ask around), are the most noticeable. Almost as loud are the people who stand around trying to argue with the evangelists.

Representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons, are around, too. They often approach people to talk. If you don’t want to, politely decline or don’t make eye contact.

Hare Krishnas periodically have a small table filled with literature near the Northrop Mall. They have treats sometimes and speak only to those who have spoken to them.

Protesters and activists

Protesters are not as common as many suspect, but they do rise up on occasion. They string the gamut from those opposing University apparel produced in sweatshops, to protests against an underfunded and understaffed Chinese department. Typically small – but vocal – protests keep the campus activist spirit alive.

The homeless

There are a few homeless who frequent the University. Take a minute to chat with them.


Sam Kean encourages comments at [email protected]