Large West Campus parties occasionally hire private security, such as UT alumni-run VSI Secure, to resolve safety concerns.
“‘Mo Bamba’ came on, and this guy was on top of the basketball hoop dancing and accidentally brought the whole basketball hoop crashing down into the middle of the party,” VSI Secure COO Lucas Lostoski said. “Our guards had to run him down before he got out of the party."
This was the only arrest VSI Secure has ever made at a West Campus party they worked, Lostoski said. UT’s Interfraternity Council uses private security for events such as Roundup, an annual weekend of events in the spring, to ensure the safety of their members, executive vice president Mitchell Meyers said in an email.
“During these events, we hire the security not just to man the entrance, but to also roam around the event to ensure everyone in attendance is safe and healthy,” Meyers said in an email.
Since UT alumni run VSI Secure, it has knowledge of the West Campus party scene and is one of the resources fraternities go to for security needs, Lostoski said. They provide bartending and security guard services and focus on de-escalating any potential problems that could occur at parties, he said. They charge $25 per guard per hour and $20 per bartender per hour, and parties typically only hire security if more than 200 people attend, Lostoski said.
“Mainly, we make sure that nobody’s overdrinking and that there are no real threats,” Lostoski said. “Our guards would escort them out if that’s the case.”
Lostoski said four to five partygoers are escorted out of each event they patrol, typically for overdrinking. Individuals have also been escorted out for property damage and jumping over the fence to drink for free, he said.
“We see (people climbing over fences) at almost every party in West Campus because if people just hear a party in the middle of a campus, they’re a lot more likely to try to break in and party for free,” Lostoski said.
VSI Secure monitors the amount of alcohol someone has consumed and prevents minors from drinking. One guard will float around the crowd to ensure only those with wristbands have drinks and those who have been cut off do not receive drinks from friends, Lostoski said. Those who cannot drink will have black X’s marked on their hands, he said.
“If (the guards) see somebody with X’s that got a drink from a friend, they will take it out of their hand and make sure that they’re not drinking,” Lostoski said.
Anaise Rivera, a communications and leadership junior, said she attended Roundup last year and thought it was safer with security present.
“A lot of minors try to get drinks, but (security) checks your ID,” Rivera said. “Without security, there could be a lot of alcohol poisoning for those who drink too much.”
Security also helps with the end of parties when people linger, Lostoski said.
“Getting people out is one of our hardest things at the end of every good party,” Lostoski said. “That can be an issue if you don’t have somebody ... with authority exiting people out during the party.”