Policies and Procedures for Event Security and Safety
Any event sponsor (i.e., student organization, faculty or staff) at The Evergreen State College has a responsibility for the safety and well-being of audience members and participants, as well as performers and workers. Adequate security and crowd management are integral aspects of event planning, intended to minimize actual and potential risk to all parties. Adequate security and crowd management can include the College’s Police Services, private security officers or local police. Professionally-trained ushers can be considered part of the security force for an event. Since the College can be held liable for any activity that takes place on its property, the execution of this policy is mandatory for all non-Academic events. It is also mandatory for Academic events open to the public and/or those events in Academics which require security. Events covered under this policy include but are not limited to:
- Lectures/Speeches/Indoor Rallies
- Public performances or theater productions
- Sporting events/competitions
- Outdoor events
Security needs must be identified prior to contract offer or agreement. (See College’s Event Sponsor Assessment & Planning Worksheet). The sponsoring organization must make arrangements for security, and the college reserves the right to determine the adequacy of such arrangements. The college reserves the right to cancel the event if it feels that the risk is beyond the college’s capabilities or the conditions of this agreement have not been met. Appeals of the cancellation will be handled in accordance with policies of the Student Activities Office and the appropriate division vice president.
- Before submitting an offer or contract, the first step for student organizations and other in-house promoters is to complete a required Event Sponsor Assessment & Planning Worksheet or ESAP Worksheet. The ESAP Worksheet is the preliminary planning and screening tool that can assess the level of risk of an event, the level of security and staffing, and the resources and conditions needed to make the event safe and successful. The Director of Police Services should be consulted and can help in determining the adequacy and type of security for the event.
- Student organizations are required to contact Student Activities to complete the ESAP Worksheet and for assistance with planning the event. Faculty or staff must contact the building manager of the venue proposed for the event to complete the ESAP Worksheet. For events in buildings that do not have venue managers, contact should be made with the appropriate designee of the Vice President’s Office for buildings under that vice presidents purview.
- The ESAP Worksheet further indicates the size, topic, invitations to outside groups, history of the performer, number of ticket sales to non-College populations, etc. The ESAP Worksheet will be reviewed by the Director of Student Activities for student groups and by the building manager/performance venue manager for faculty/staff. If the review by the Director of Student Activities or the building manager/performance venue manager highlights elements of potential risk, the Risk Assessment Review Team (RART) will be convened.
- The purpose of the RART will be to evaluate the risk level of an event by using the Risk Assessment Review Worksheet and determine if additional steps should be taken to reduce risk. The RART will determine the appropriate number of police officers/security personnel, whether to use professional ushers as well as whether the fire department or EMTs should be present. The RART can determine that the level of risk is too high for the College to accept if an adequate level of security cannot be reached. Membership of RART will include the Director of Student Activities, Director of Police Services, Building Manager/Performance Venue Manager, Environmental Health & Safety Coordinator, Risk Manager, and a student representative.
- Costs of security and associated support personnel (e.g., flaggers for parking lots, overtime for Police Services) should be incorporated into budget projections for the event. The RART may require extra security including Police Services, medical personnel, and/or the Thurston County Sherriff. These personnel needs are in addition to event staff and front-of-house staff who normally assist those in attendance. If it is determined by the RART’s assessment that extra security will be needed, this additional cost will be the responsibility of the event sponsor.
- In some cases, the RART may require the sponsoring organization to take out special event insurance.
- Final arrangements for security must be made with the Director of Police Services at least ten working days prior to the contracted event. If Police Services cannot staff the event, additional officers may be hired from local law enforcement agencies per the mutual aid agreement.
- The event promoter or his/her trained designee is expected to be at the event throughout the show.
- A security meeting with Police Services and all relevant personnel must be held prior to the event for introductions and instructions to event staff, program staff and all hired security.
- Special arrangements must be made for outdoor events (including concerts and sporting events) to ensure minimal risk due to factors related to weather (e.g., rain), noise level (e.g., Thurston County Noise Ordinance and impact in surrounding neighborhoods), traffic/parking, ADA accommodations, under-aged students, time of the event, and/or event staging requirements (e.g., restrooms and lighting). Any outdoor event that projects attendance from non-College attendees might require the employment of security personnel and a certificate of insurance.
- All contract and rider specifications related to security will be adhered to, and any special requirements or concerns should be conveyed to the appropriate security or production personnel before implementation, preferably four days in advance of the program.
- Tickets and print /electronic advertisements should state that alcohol and drugs are not permitted, and that smoking is permitted only in designated areas.
- At the start of the event, the sponsor should inform the audience of emergency procedures.
- While program interruptions are expected to be minimal, the sponsor shall be permitted access to the public address system during run-of-show should any imperative announcements regarding safety be necessary.
Note: The steps in the protocol do not replace existing planning tools or procedural steps established by Student Activities for event planning by student groups.