Convicted For A Cause

Photo by Nate Sheidlower.

“No, not Terrance. He’s a good boy,” the custodial workers pleaded with Officer Janelle Kelsey as she walked Terrance Morgan out of Esopus Hall and toward the police cruiser in cold silver handcuffs.

“Good luck,” one of the custodians said as Morgan was locked in the back seat, hands behind his back.

Officer Kelsey smiled back at the custodians. “It’s OK,” she said as she got in the car to take Terrance away to the jail.

Morgan, a second-year marketing management major, was being taken to the mock jail located in SUB 100 on Thursday, Oct. 30. He and about 13 others were arrested, only to be bailed out with money going to the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital as part of the third annual Jail N’ Bail fundraiser.

Morgan and his fellow inmates, including fourth-year sociology major and President of the Student Association, Osatohamwen Okundaye, stood behind the black streamers that lined the floor to ceiling windows of the mock jail and hollered at those walking by to come donate.

“This event brings fun and lightheartedness to something very serious,” Wendy Chiu, co-president of New Paltz for St. Jude said.

Chiu is a fourth-year public relations major and this is her first year coordinating this event. She said about $500 in donations were collected during the event, adding to the near $700 they have already received this semester.

There is no minimum dollar amount the inmates must earn before leaving to go about their day, according to Nicole Barci, fourth-year public relations major and co-chair of New Paltz for St. Jude, who was arrested both last year and this year. She said on average students raise about $20 before leaving and faculty raise about $100.

“It’s a really good cause,” Barci said. “These kids don’t know if they’ll be here tomorrow, so we need to do what we can to help them.”

Barci said it is difficult to get people motivated to donate, but an event like this one puts a fun spin on the topic and encourages donations.

Third-year accounting major, Sarah Alloush, partook in this fundraiser for the first time. With a $20 goal in mind, she said it really grabs people’s attention and gets them to think about the children and donate.

Officers Kelsey, Coxum and Mattison were the three SUNY New Paltz University Police Department (UPD) members who participated in the event, arresting people throughout the day.

“This is more than just someone donating money,” UPD Chief Dugatkin said. “People are giving up their time, which is precious to all of us.”

Dugatkin said he had been involved in a similar fundraiser while working with the Town of New Paltz Police Department. He said if an emergency did arise his officers would leave the fundraiser to help.

He said it is a fun way for police to be involved with the campus community and he was impressed with everyone’s commitment for the good cause.