On Friday, 45 Youngstown State University students were locked up in a makeshift jail cell outside of Kilcawley Center as they attempted to get passersby to donate change so they could post bail and be released. The event, known as Jail N’ Bail, was held by sorority Alpha Xi Delta, and all proceeds went to Autism Speaks.
Autism Speaks, an Autism advocacy organization, has been the national philanthropy of Alpha Xi Delta since 2009. Together, they have raised over 2 million dollars in just five years.
Tables were set up between Sept. 15 and Sept. 18 in Kilcawley Center where students could send out warrants for other students’ and faculty members’ arrests.
Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Friday, students who had been nominated by their peers throughout the week were locked up, handed red plastic cups and asked to collect money to post their bail. Students had to raise $5 before they were set free, and faculty members had to raise $7.
Julia Colecchi, the Alpha Xi Delta president, said this is the second year in the row the sorority has put together the Jail N’ Bail.
“This is our second consecutive year putting on the Jail N’ Bail event, but we have done the event in the past for many years,” she said.
She added that the event is both a hit among the students who participate and the sisters alike.
“Alpha Xi Delta National Headquarters has a list of philanthropic events in which they encourage us to participate in, and Jail N’ Bail is one event on the list. It has been successful for us in the past, and many students love to be involved in it. Our sisters love putting the event on, so it’s really a win-win for everyone on campus,” she said.
As students were locked up, they beat their cups against the cell and begged onlookers for donations. Many passersby donated spare change, rationing it between each convict.
Gretchen Moreno, a Alpha Xi Delta sister, said she was not exempt from becoming a fugitive herself.
“All of the money goes to Autism Speaks, so it’s for a good cause,” she said. “I’m in the sorority, but we could be nominated too. We have to raise $5.”
Alpha Xi Delta arrested a total of 45 people and raised $740.48 for Autism Speaks, and plans to get more money this week, as not everybody posted their full bail money yet.