The Benefits of Tabling


To most University of California Santa Barbara students, there is one area of campus that might as well have caution tape and “Do Not Enter” signs surrounding it: the courtyard in front of The Arbor. This is the nest of tablers for various UCSB organizations and also an area that Gauchos have a tendency to avoid because of the inevitable harassment that happens from merely walking through.

Their arsenal? Countless fliers on hand, limitless ability to scream at the innocent passersby rushing to Campbell Hall and absolutely no fear of getting in the faces of students.

Next time you walk through this war zone, though, drop the fake phone call and turn down the tunes; at least humor the students you regularly ignore.

“People will dodge you and think that if they pretend we don’t see them, we (actually) won’t see them,” said Cory Wheeler, a third-year economics and political science double-major. Wheeler was tabling for Alpha Kappa Psi, a business fraternity. “Compared to how many people we give fliers out to, about two to three percent (sign up).”

You’re walking past college students just like yourself- between classes, studying, a social life and the campus organization or organizations we’re involved in, a spare moment is extremely hard to come by. Yet these students are passionate enough about their areas of interest to volunteer hours of their time to spread their gospel to hundreds of students who won’t even look up to see what it is they’re ignoring.

After trying my hand at tabling with The Bottom Line last week and experiencing firsthand how disheartening it is when a student either doesn’t acknowledge you or downright rejects what you want to hand them, I now recognize the importance of sacrificing 30 seconds of my time to consider the student’s information.
While some clubs and organizations may require the students involved to table, the students are still taking time out of their days just to spread the word. With indifference much more rampant than dedication these days among the general Isla Vista population, it’s refreshing to know that many students do care enough to do this.
Do them a favor and grab the pamphlet, flip through and ponder it. If you remain uninterested after fully considering what the students were speaking about, then and only then, chuck it in the nearest recycling receptacle.