This semester, Fairfield students won’t have the chance to put warrants out for their classmates’ arrests or spend their day locked in a makeshift jail cell in the traffic circle.
Due to the numerous construction projects taking place on campus this semester, the Department of Public Safety was forced to postpone this semester’s Jail N’ Bail event until the Fall 2017 semester, reported by Assistant Director of DPS John Ritchie. The event was initially supposed to take place on Friday, April 21.
“Due to conflicts with the construction projects on campus, we found it difficult to find a solid location to have the event,” Ritchie said. He added that DPS usually tries to hold the event in a public location that’s far enough away from the academic facilities so as not to become a distraction and that the traffic circle usually fulfills these requirements every year. According to Ritchie, DPS would have had conflicts with the ongoing construction at the Barone Campus Center, as trucks will be delivering materials to the BCC throughout the day.
Knowing that the traffic circle would not be an option this year, DPS looked into alternative locations to hold Jail N’ Bail, but Ritchie reported that DPS was having conflicts finding a new location because many public areas on campus are also in construction. Ritchie added that DPS considered using the area in front of Alumni Hall, but they couldn’t take handicap spots away from those who need them.
Despite this, Brianna Kron ‘17 questioned why DPS couldn’t have held Jail N’ Bail in the Lower Level of the Barone Campus Center instead of at an outdoor location on campus to avoid this conflict.
Further, Ritchie noted that DPS tried to find alternative dates during this semester to reschedule the event for, but said that “looking at the dates, there were too many conflicts at this point. It’s late in the season for scheduling a large-scale event,” explaining that athletic events, admissions events and the upcoming Clam Jam make it difficult to hold Jail N’ Bail on any other date during the semester.
While some students may be annoyed with the late notice of the postponement of Jail N’ Bail, Ritchie reported that DPS “did not know about the influx of trucks coming in Thursday and Friday this week until Monday,” forcing DPS to announce the news on Monday, April 17. “If we had known this a month ago, we would have worked around it,” Ritchie added.
Despite the postponement, Ritchie doesn’t feel that the success of the event will be hindered in any way.
“In think Jail N’ Bail has been such a successful event since we started doing it years ago. I don’t think having it in the spring or fall will really make a difference,” Ritchie said, adding that the event would have been affected more if DPS had held it on its original date, despite the construction.
Ritchie cited that other schools hold their Jail N’ Bail events in the fall successfully, so there’s no reason to think that holding Fairfield’s version in October instead will make the event any less lucrative than normal.
Many students were disappointed to have to remove Jail N’ Bail from their plans for the weekend. Junior Grant Williams noted that he could “definitely see how people would be a little disappointed about it, especially with finals coming up.”
Senior Te’on Smith said Jail N’ Bail’s postponement was “heartbreaking,” since he won’t have a chance to participate in another Jail n’ Bail during his time at Fairfield. He joked that he had been arrested his past three years and had a list of people he had planned to arrest for this year.