A credit card solicitor was kicked off campus and banned from university premises Monday because he was a signing up students for credit cards in an area of the university that prohibits such advertising and did so without a permit.
Jake Whitehead, who said he was a student from Los Angeles but would not give his age or say which school he attended, was ordered by UC Police Dept. Officer Mark Gallagher to leave the university grounds because Whitehead was “disrupting university business.” Whitehead was tabling in front of Girvetz Hall, adjacent to the bike path, where he was trying to get students to signup for credit cards. He was giving away T-shirts to those who filled out applications. Whitehead said he works for Citibank and has friends who attend UCSB. He also said he had been tabling in UCSB at different locations for about a week.
“This company seems to continue to send people to this campus without following the rules. You’re going to pack up your stuff and leave this campus,” Gallagher said to Whitehead upon questioning him about his employer.
It is against university rules for commercial vendors and solicitors to approach students without first obtaining a permit from the Bookstore, said UCSB Bookstore Director Ken Bowers. Even with a permit, solicitors can only operate on the sides of the walkway along Storke Plaza in front of the UCen.
Bower said the university keeps track of which businesses approach students in order to protect students from identity theft.
“The scary thing is that that application can end up in L.A. for sale,” he said. “Your name, address and social security number is on the applications.”
Bowers said the University’s rules and its enforcement of the policies are tough.
“I think we only work with financial institutions that we have pre-existing contracts [with],” he said.
Bowers gave Bank of America, Wells Fargo and some credit unions examples of companies that have contracts with UCSB.
Gallagher also told the Whitehead that he is banned from soliciting at UCSB for seven days, and if caught on campus during that time he would probably be arrested.
In general, Bowers said, students should be cautious of which applications they fill out.
“When you go to an AT&T or Verizon store, you can except it to be a dependable company,” he said. “But you don’t know who the guy standing in front of a classroom selling something is. I would caution students about filling out an application that isn’t from a reputable company.”