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Special Events

Brad Ferrara

Michigan State University Police and Public Safety 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 MSU DPPS and if it is determined that a need exists, MSU DPPS will provide the resources. This often incurs a cost to the organization; however, there are some opportunities for officers to be assigned at a student function without charge to the organization.

The Security Services Division coordinates and assists with planning for any special event on campus that involves resources from MSU DPPS. Currently, special events across campus that request MSU DPPS resources have increased to more than 1,300 events per year.

Many factors determine the need for security or police services. MSU DPPS works with the related organization to make sure the event is 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 a final decision on police and security staffing levels. MSU DPPS works closely with Infrastructure Planning and Facilities (IPF), which also provides information to assist with event planning.

Below are potential factors used to determine security needs:

  • Type of event
  • Day/time of the event
  • Location of the event
  • Number of other events occuring at the same time that also require security
  • Expected crowd size
  • History of similar events
  • History of sponsoring organization
  • Good financial standing with MSU DPPS
  • Ticket sales occuring at point of entry
  • History of performer/speaker at other locations
  • Potential for alcohol or other illegal substances to be brought into the venue, requiring searches
  • Note: No events that require MSU DPPS can take place on the day of MSU home football games
MSU requires all student organizations hosting an event at MSU to complete an Event Planning Form through Involve@State. The MSU Department of Student Life will indicate which university offices 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 MSU DPPS, the planning form must be completed for review at least 21 days prior to the event and approved by MSU DPPS. An officer assigned to the Special Events Division will review all planning forms and will then authorize the event to take place on campus.