Common-sense limits on credit card marketing on campuses make some sense. But if one reads between the lines of these laws and the administrative policies on many campuses, the intent seems to be to ban certain types of commercial advertising on campus.
Although Connecticut’s new law sets limits on soliciting on campus, universities can still go a step further by prohibiting banks and other lenders from marketing on campus altogether.Some of these restrictions would likely violate the First Amendment if imposed in other types of public places. Students ought not to be shielded from credit card pitches on campus. Perhaps if they learned of the perils of such pitches earlier in life, future generations might become more savvy debt consumers. In any event, campus administrators should take care not to violate their students' right to receive legal marketing information and to decide for themselves whether to apply for credit.
“A bank can’t come to you and say, ‘I’ve met these regulations and you must let me on campus,’” Michael Meotti, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Higher Education, told his department’s board of governors.
The University of Connecticut, for instance, enacted its own rules for credit-card marketing on campus that restrict the activity to the Student Union and requires marketers to let students accept giveaways without forcing them to participate in the promotion.
Students must also be allowed to “self-select” if they want to approach a marketer’s table without those representatives calling out to the students or using other aggressive techniques, UConn spokesman Michael Kirk said.