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Submitted by JessicaW on May 3, 2011

This article is being written behind bars; no, not real bars, but the hollow grey jail that is set up by Public Safety for this year’s 4th annual Jail N’ Bail event to raise money and support for Special Olympics Connecticut. This event is extremely popular on Fairfield’s campus and is looked forward to by students and faculty weeks before the actual date. The opportunity to arrest their friends and teachers is one that many students do not pass up, which was evident on April 27th.

For $5, anyone can purchase a warrant for friends or faculty members, and the arrestee is placed in jail until they are able to collect enough money for their bail bond and be released.  Once the warrant has been declared, Public Safety officers find the arrestee, handcuff them, and walk them back to the jail set up in the traffic circle. From there, the arrestee faces 1 of 3 judges who will set their bail bond.

Depending on the offense written on the warrant, number of warrants, poor dress, poor attitude, or messy hair, the judge can raise bail as high as he pleases. Once bail has been set, the arrestee’s handcuffs are taken off, a mugshot is taken, and s/he is placed in the cell. While in the cell, the arrestee calls, texts, and begs friends to bring them money to post bail. Some lucky students only had to post a $30 bail, such as me who was somehow arrested for ‘verbal abuse,’ while others needed to collect much larger amounts. This year, members of the basketball team were arrested numerous times and the entire field hockey team was arrested together, raising over $200 collectively for their bail bond.

This “all in good fun” event is a way to bring students together with Public Safety in a way that they most likely had not experienced before. Everyone comes together to participate while raising money for over 6,000 Special Olympics athletes in Connecticut. Students are able to meet some of these athletes while enjoying music, food, and occasionally the jail cell. Anyone who is arrested is given a Fairfield University 2011 Jail N’ Bail t-shirt, which is also meant to advertise the event and especially the Special Olympics Connecticut programs.

As a freshman, I was a bit concerned when I was initially arrested, but it turned into a fun time, especially when I was trying to convince my friends that I was worthy enough for them to give me money to post bail. The ongoing joke on campus among students and faculty is that on the day of the Jail N’ Bail event, you truly find out who your friends are. Glad to know I have some good ones!

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