Event Security Policy

(a) General Statement of Policy. Western Michigan University (“WMU”) seeks to ensure the safety of all persons on campus, and to protect all facilities on campus from damage. Proposed events can create a substantial, non-speculative concern about the safety of attendees, the WMU community, and/or the general public, or a substantial, non-speculative concern about potential damage to WMU property. WMU may, at its own cost, provide Department of Public Safety (“DPS) security services for campus events. When security concerns are present and demonstrable, WMU may also require event sponsors or organizers to pay a portion of security costs deemed necessary to protect attendees and WMU property. Event organizers also may request security at an event but it is not required.

(b) Factors for Assessing Security Costs. In determining the amount of such costs to be charged to the event sponsor, the University will consider only the following content neutral, objective criteria:

(i) a reasonable estimate of the number of anticipated attendees;

(ii) the proportion of program participants/attendees who are expected to be and who are members of the WMU community;

(iii) the venue in which the event is to take place; (iv) maximum occupancy limits;

(v) the number of event staff present;

(vi) the time of day, and day and date of the week, that the event is to take place;

(vii) the planned duration of the event;

(viii) whether tickets are required for attendance, the proceeds for which might be used to defray security costs; and

(ix) the amount of cash anticipated to be present at the event;

(x) whether alcohol will be served; and

(xi) the general format of the event.

(c) Prohibited Considerations in Assessing Security Costs. Criteria that shall not be used in the determination of security costs to be charged to the event sponsor include: 

(i) any viewpoint(s) expected to be expressed at the event; or

(ii) any reaction expected in response to the viewpoints expressed.

(d) Amount of Security Costs. The costs for DPS security staffing may vary, depending upon such considerations as whether the event will occur on a weekday or weekend, during the day or evening, etc. Please contact DPS to obtain the cost per hour (or overtime hour) for security personnel. There is no minimum number of hours required for use of security personnel. These costs may be updated at the beginning of each academic year by the DPS. These costs are limited to the direct expenses incident to providing the security services.

(e) Written Assessment. If security costs are assessed, DPS will, sufficiently before the scheduled event for the appeal process described below to be completed, provide the event sponsor or organizer a written summary of DPS review of criteria and costs, and an explanation for the determination.

(f) Additional services upon request. Individuals or RSOs may contact DPS to request security services outside of regular DPS patrols for a particular event. Generally, these services must be requested a minimum of ten (10) days prior to the planned event. Requests made less than 10 days prior to the date of use will be considered, where possible, where exigent circumstances, such as reacting to breaking current events, necessitates less advance notice. A reasonable fee will be charged. This fee must be paid in advance by cash, certified check, money order, or by a campus financial transaction. Subject to appeal, WMU will make the determination on the number of officers needed for a scheduled event to maintain campus safety and security.

(g) Appeal. A person or RSO that disagrees with an event security decision may appeal the decision, including the amount to be charged, to the WMU Vice President for Business and Finance and Vice President for Student Affairs by providing written notice to the Vice President for Business and Finance or the Vice President for Student Affairs on or before the third (3rd) business day when WMU is in session after the date the person or RSO is notified of the decision being appealed. The notice of appeal must contain the person or RSO’s name and address, a brief description of the decision being appealed, the person or RSO’s reason for appealing, and the date the person or RSO received notification of the decision being appealed. When timely notice of appeal is received, the appealing party shall have an opportunity to meet with the Vice President for Business and Finance and Vice President for Student Affairs, or their representatives, prior to receiving a decision on the appeal. The appealing party shall be notified of the date and time of the meeting at least one (1) business day in advance. In considering the appeal, the reviewing parties will review whether the assessment is necessitated by the existence of a nonspeculative concern about safety and property damage, reasonable in light of the reviewers’ conclusions, and content-neutral. The University will consider appeals promptly and issue a decision within two (2) business days from the meeting with the appealing party.