“I see it happen all the time,” says Marvin Evans, 21, of Chicago. “Mainly on State Street and Michigan Avenue because that’s where the dorms are, where you have the majority of students and also where you have businesses and rich people.”
Companies and businesses often have representatives standing outside their buildings with attempts to bring in more customers and attract new faces, but they are not always successful.
“Yesterday somebody from Planned Parenthood asked me to sign up,” says Alex Ashley, 20, of Chicago. “But I just ignored them.”
Students walking to and from classes, especially in between classes, are generally in a hurry, and it’s only human nature to not stop and talk to these people. Who wants to stop and talk to a complete stranger about something business related you know nothing about?
“I get stopped every time I walk down the street, and I walk right past them,” Ashley says. “I see business people the most because they are so persistent.”
The sidewalks and street corners of the South Loop are filled with businesses trying to promote themselves and their products, and they also overflow with homeless men and women.
“Last Tuesday a homeless bum asked me for money and a cigarette,” Evans says. “He kept saying please and giving me a speech about why he was homeless and how he needed money. I told him I had no cash on me.”
Many college professors frequently have their students stroll the streets of Michigan Avenue, State Street and Wabash Avenue searching for people to fill out surveys for classes and conduct interviews for projects and papers.
It must be difficult for students who have to stop pedestrians in their tracks, ask for a moment of their time and then bombard them with tons of questions. Nerves can kick in, and most people aren’t willing to cooperate. They aren’t going to get many surveys filled out or interviews completed.
“People tend not to care,” says Emmanuel Liberty, 19, of Chicago. “I usually put my iPod on because I just don’t want to be bothered when I’m walking. It makes me feel uncomfortable when I get badgered with information.”