Dakota DiMattio, '17, (L) and Alex Stephanou, '15, sell tickets to the Great Gatsby party using the Gold Plus machines in upper U.C. on Friday, Feb. 20th, 2015. The Great Gatsby party was held for students, faculty, and staff. (Zhuojun Xiao/B&W staff)

Required police presence puts strain on fundraising for campus organizations


A policy requiring the Lehigh University Police Department to be present at certain campus events can make it difficult for student organizations to afford the cost of their programs.

Matt Kitchie, the senior assistant dean of students and the director of Student Activities, said the policy in place is generally enforced when an event meets one or more of the following circumstances: if cash is being collected at the event, if it is a large scale event — like those held by University Productions, Relay for Life or Dance Marathon — if the event is open to the community outside of Lehigh students, if there is a concern for student safety, or if alcohol is being served or is present.

“(The policy) is in place to ensure the safety of Lehigh students and for liability reasons,” Kitchie said. “Lehigh University cares about the safety of its students first and foremost.”

Kitchie said it is usually up to the LUPD whether or not police officers or event staff should be present at an event. Several of the Dean of Students offices, such as Student Activities, work with LUPD providing input in the decision-making process. They take into account each organization’s and event’s unique characteristics.

The LUPD and the Office of Student Activities generally advise organizations to budget at least $200 to cover the cost of LUPD officers and event staff. This breaks down to $50 per hour, with a minimum of four hours — even if the event is only one hour long. Student organizations can get a more accurate estimate by contacting LUPD with a detailed description of the event.

Colleges Against Cancer hired the LUPD for their annual Relay For Life event because the organization collects money onsite.

“I understand the policy, in that these police officers that need to be at these events need to get paid,” said Kate Hamilton, ’15, the co-president of Colleges Against Cancer. “I just wish there was something that could help offset the costs. For Relay For Life, every little bit counts to fight cancer.”

Last week, Delta Upsilon fraternity held a Huntington’s disease charity walk in honor of a member’s father who recently passed away from the disease.

The fraternity members found a way to get around the police policy by changing the way the way they raised money. They sold tickets to the charity walk before the event, rather than at it, so they could donate all the proceeds earned toward their cause.

“By collecting money beforehand in the University Center and online we saved all of that money and really didn’t lose any money by not collecting at the actual walk,” said Ben Seiler, ’17, the philanthropy chairman of Delta Upsilon.

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