Today: Jul 14, 2024

Locked up for Special Olympics CT Fundraiser

Beta Mu Sigma member Steve Wachter waits for his bail to be set by the judges. Photo courtesy Steven Alves

Jessica Giannone, General Assignment Reporter:
Next Tuesday, students will be “locked up” on campus outside the Student Center. The fifth annual “Jail n’ Bail” will be held in collaboration with Beta Mu Sigma fraternity and the Southern Police Department to raise money for Special Olympics Connecticut. The event will be held from 8 a.m.to 5 p.m. in the academic quad.
Students will have the opportunity to fill out “arrest warrants” for their friends and teachers to be put in “jail cells.”
“They say, ‘I got you, I got you,’ and you see your friend getting cuffed,” said Officer Sergio Nunez, reflecting on previous years of the event.
David Langer, coordinator of “Jail n’ Bail” and president of Beta Mu Sigma, said the goal this year is to raise at least $15,000, and to spread more awareness.
To make the event “huge” and more successful, Langer said they have worked on getting more public relations, officers and volunteers. The Fairfield Police Department also assists with the event.
Langer said teams such as the Connecticut Whales, and mascot Rocky the Rock Cat from the New Britain Rock Cats are anticipated to be making appearances.
“I don’t plan on getting locked up,” said Police Chief Dooley, “but I plan on being a judge.”
After students are “arrested” by officers, a “judge” sets the bail for the individual, which is a minimum of $50. Students who are “arrested” will stay in the cell until they can get enough students to donate the necessary amount of money to “bail them out,” or until a “responsible effort” has been made. However, students may stay in the cell for as long as they please to try to raise more money, but the “set” bail should not be raised beyond $75, as the event flyer states.
Students are not responsible for paying their bail, but can use their cell phone or a phone provided by the “guard” to call anyone they would like to bail them out.
Dooley said faculty and staff, as well as students, can purchase “Get out of Jail Free” cards for $25, which has been reduced from $50 from previous years.
Dooley said a many administrators get involved, and it brings “a little bit of humor” to the campus.
“You’ll hear them laughing and you’ll see their smiles,” said Dooley, referring to the students and the athletes of the Special Olympics.
Officer Nunez said he likes knowing he is doing something good at the university; it’s not just a waste of time.

Participants from Jail N’ Bail smile after a successful fundraiser two years ago. Photo courtesy Steven Alves

Langer said a lot of people don’t understand how much it means to the athletes, as he described how the athletes’ smiles “literally” lit up their faces.
“We’re like rock stars to them,” said Nunez, as Officer Abby Laffond added it “really is” for a good cause.
“This is something [the athletes] live for,” said Laffond.
Sgt. David Long said the best part of the event is watching the athletes because they are so appreciative.
“When you take this job you give back,” said Long, “and the most important thing to give back is time.”
Dooley added that the event is just an “all around” good thing.
He said there have been occasions where students ran to their cars and left campus for the day, or hid in the bushes from the police.
Nunez said sometimes the police will knock on a students’ residence hall doors at 8 a.m. and they will come out in their pajamas.
“We all like it because we don’t have to write a report after we arrest someone,” said Long, jokingly.
Warrants cost $5 and can be found in the Southern Police Department. They can be paid by check, cash or Hoot Loot. Warrants will also be available the day of the event for those who want to “get even,” and credit cards will be accepted.
Parking passes will also be given out.
“Pay a visit,” said Nunez, “and watch your friends who are in the slammer.”

2007 Jail N’ Bail Award for raising over $17,000 for Special Olympics CT
2008 SCSU Outstanding Charitable donation award
2009 SCSU On Going Greek Service Project award

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