Big Red, WKU community members “locked up” for charity

Taylor Harrison

“Prisoners” from WKU, including Big Red, were stuck behind bars for the Jail and Bail Event Tuesday afternoon at Centennial Mall.

The event, hosted by the Student Activities Office, raised money for the United Way of Southern Kentucky.

The prisoners had to raise $50 in order to make “bail” by the end of the event.

A microphone was set up near the makeshift jail cell and the event workers used it to encourage people passing by to come over and donate.

Everyone who donated could receive a free Frosty coupon, but if someone donated $10 or more, they received a T-shirt.

Radcliffe graduate student Kyle Smith, a graduate assistant in the Student Activities Office, said that the “prisoners” consisted of nine Greek students, people from the Student Activities Office and people from Housing and Residence Life, along with Big Red and others.

“We just wanted to do Jail and Bail because we just thought it was a fun and creative way to get kids on campus, you know, more involved and it’s pretty funny,” Smith said.

While each person had to raise $50, Smith said the overall goal was $1,000.

Louisville sophomore Meredith Smith, from Sigma Kappa sorority, took the jailbird theme to the next level. Smith wore a penguin suit while trying to collect money.

“…It said ‘free the jail bird’ so a penguin’s a bird and we had a penguin costume,” she said.

One prisoner, Bowling Green sophomore Hannah Williams, got involved with the event because she is Phi Mu sorority’s philanthropy chair.

“It’s fun to get out here with everyone else and see people on campus at the end of the year,” Williams said.

Williams said she had to go around and ask people to donate to United Way and if someone gave a donation, she would give them a free Frosty coupon in return.

Another Greek student behind bars was Louisville senior Riad Otoum, of Sigma Nu fraternity.

Otoum said he participated last year and it was a lot of fun so he decided to do it again.

“I’m a veteran here,” Otoum said.

He was also handing out something extra to people who donated to help him with “bail.”

“You give me a dollar, two dollars, five dollars, a penny, you get a Red Bull,” Otoum said. “I just need to get out of jail. Everybody’s got to bring their own little, you know, unique style on how to get out of jail.”

Elizabeth Madariaga, sexual assault services coordinator at the Counseling and Testing Center, said she had seen the event take place before, but this was her first time “being arrested.”

“I solicited some ahead of time so I have my bail money already, so I’m very lucky,” Madariaga said.

Madariaga also said the event was a great way to get out of the office on a beautiful day and an easy way to donate to a good cause.