Special Events

The MSU Police Department has the sole responsibility for providing police and security functions on the campus of MSU. This means that groups or organizations may not contract with any off-campus agency for policing, parking, or security of events held on campus. Police and security needs must be discussed with the MSU Police Department and if it is determined that a need exists, MSU Police will provide the resources. Often this incurs a cost to the organization. In addition, there are some opportunities for officers to be assigned at a student function without charge to the organization.

The Special Events Division coordinates and assists with planning for any special event on campus that involves resources from the Michigan State University Police Department. Currently, special events across campus that request MSU Police resources have increased to over 1,300 events per year.

Event Staffing Factors

Many factors determine the need for security or police services and the department works with the organization to make the event as safe and secure as possible at the lowest possible cost. Determining security needs is done in consultation with the venue managers prior to making the final decision on police and security staffing levels. The MSU Police Department works closely with Infrastructure Planning and Facilities and they also have some good information that will assist with event planning. A link has been provided to access their resources.

Listed below are potential factors used to determine security needs

  • Type of event
  • Day of the week and time of the day for the event
  • Location of the event
  • The number of other events occurring at the same time that require security
  • The expected size of the crowd
  • History of similar events
  • History of the sponsoring organization
  • Good financial standing with the MSU Police Department
  • Ticket sales occurring at point of entry
  • History of the performer/speaker at other locations
  • Potential for alcohol or other illegal substances to be brought into the venue, requiring searches
  • No events that require MSU Police Services can take place on the day of MSU home football games

Student Event Planning

MSU requires all student organizations hosting an event at MSU to complete a planning form through a website called Community. A representative from the Department of Student Life will indicate which University offices will need to review the plans for your event and will obtain the appropriate authorizations before the event can be scheduled. A representative of the Student Life Office will indicate that the plans for your event have been reviewed and that the services and facilities are available. For events that may require services from the MSU Police Department, the planning form must be  forwarded for review at least 21 days before the event and approved by the MSU Police.  An officer assigned to the Special Events Division will review all planning forms and will then authorize the event to take place on campus.