Garrett Center policy change secures students’ wallets

The Garrett Cultural Center policy requiring student groups to pay for additional event security will now be paid for by the university.

“We heard from the students that they’d greatly appreciate if the university would not charge them for additional police security,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Alan Galsky.  “We discussed that with the President’s Cabinet and decided it’d be a good thing if we didn’t charge students for on-campus activities.”

The Garrett Cultural Center is a space often used by multicultural groups for parties and events. The former policy, which had been in place for a few years, stated “…A minimum of two police officers will be in attendance at each event. Campus Police will wand everyone entering a party.  Effective the Fall Semester 2008 the Dance Party Sponsoring Organization will be responsible for paying $20 per hour for each Campus Police on duty working the event.”

While elements of the former policy, such as a mandatory guest list, will still be included, Galsky said the amended policy will take effect immediately.

“We’re going to take this policy across the board,” he said. “Any university-approved party on campus, if it should need security, will be covered by the university.”

The policy will be up for re-evaluation next spring, Galsky said.

“We will take a look at it again this time next year,” he said. “The more events groups can have on campus, the better it will be for everyone.”

Bradley University Police Chief Brian Joschko said security costs for the events will vary, but students will not be responsible for them.

“The previous rate charged by policy was $20 per hour per officer for police

services,” he said. “ The actual security cost of those events depends on numerous factors, but primarily revolve around officer scheduling and related wages.”

Students said they are pleased with the change, but they still aren’t content with the overall policy.

“We’ve been working on this policy for more than a year now,” said senior National Pan-Hellenic Council Chairperson Emmanuelle Bailey-Greene. “Previously you had to pay $200 for Bradley police, which was unfair because you didn’t have to do that anywhere else on campus. We are very happy that we don’t have to pay the police, but we are actively fighting that there is a discrepancy.”

That discrepancy, she said, is a required guest list two days prior to a Garrett Center event.

“You still have to have a guest list 48 hours before the party,” Bailey-Greene said. “That makes it very hard to raise money. Parties are a main source of revenue for us, and a guest list 48 hours before the event is unrealistic.”

Junior NAACP vice president Jerome Baker said the guest list hinders the potential success of an event.

“The guest list limits who we can reach out to,” he said. “A lot of things happen last minute. That’s when students’ schedules free up.”

However, Bradley is taking a step in the right direction by picking up security costs, Baker said.

“This cuts down on the price and benefits us when we’re having a party in the Garrett Center because funds are limited,” he said. “The police being free makes us think that Bradley is focusing on helping the students and listening.”

The next step, Bailey-Greene said, is joining up with other students to continue revising the policy.

“We are thinking of working with other organizations,” she said. “We’re going to keep working on it because I don’t think it’s right that we should be penalized for having a party in the multicultural center just because it is the multicultural center.”