Every UC Berkeley student knows how irritating it is to get flyered by a student organization. For those of you who don’t go to UC Berkeley — or graduated before 1964 when students earned us that right — flyering is when student representatives (or general citizens of Berkeley) distribute information about club meetings, political advocacy, events or even corporate-branded swag (that’s @Venmo, by the way). That’s right, free speech is indeed not dead on the UC Berkeley campus, as we’re reminded by the zillions of 4-by-6 inch pieces of paper thrust into our faces every day. But if you’re willing to trade in another consulting info session in favor of getting to class a solid 30 seconds earlier, we gathered the best, time-tested tips to avoid getting flyered on Sproul.
Spontaneously spill your drink on yourself
Extra bonus points if you’re willing to sacrifice the 1951 latte you just waited 20 minutes for. Even more extra bonus points if you spill it on the person flyering you, too. It’ll be like a scene in a movie and will be totally fun — that is, if you live close enough to campus to run home and change before whatever it is you were rushing to.
Pee your pants
This one might require you to practice a little more on your “shocked” face, but it also allows you to run away much more quickly without seeming rude. Plus, though you’ll still need to go home, you won’t have such terrible stains and probably won’t feel as mean. In exchange, you’ll definitely need to bear the brunt of the embarrassment.
Stare directly into their eyes until they back down
This tactic requires stern silence as if you’re so focused on the person handing you the flyer that you can’t process a single thing they’re saying. Want to save the bees? No. Care about children? No. Save the world? No. Nothing they say can get you to break your stare. Just think of it as the ultimate opportunity to work on your poker face.
Seem so interested that you’ll never let them talk to anyone else
If the previous tactic wasn’t your style, practice your improv by faking amazed, overwhelming excitement. Ask them tons of questions, save the date for every single meeting on your calendar and add their LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Finstagram, etc. If you have the time, inviting yourself over to their table or handing out some of their flyers will really seal the deal. Once they realize you’ll never let them finish the homework they were working on, they’ll be begging for you to leave (and never come back).
Start a protest
We all know this is the only real way to bring structural change around here, so if we want to bring an end to this flyering epidemic, we need to take direct action. You cannot even passively take part! And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the printers and upon the ink cartridges, upon the paper cutters, upon all the offices where these flyers are printed — and you’ve got to make it stop! And you’ve got to indicate to the exec boards who run it, to the people who fund these clubs — that unless they stop bugging us, these flyers will be prevented from working at all!
Take the whole stack of flyers and throw them in the trash can
Solar-powered, waste-compacting trash, recycle and compost bins are available on your right as you approach Sather Gate.
Take the whole stack of flyers and light them on fire
Evil laughs work particularly well with this one.
Take the whole stack of flyers and make it rain on Sproul
Dolla dolla bills, y’all.
Recommended by a housemate as a tried-and-true tactic, this has been my go-to as of late. Just scream as loud as you can directly into their faces and carry on your way. The people around you might be a little bit confused, but if you play it off, they’ll forget it even happened. Best of all, the person who wanted to talk to you will be too stunned to engage.
If you can tell, we’re a little stressed over here at the Clog. Good luck with midterms, everyone!