Campus 4/20 expenses for 2013 fell by nearly $17,000

Published: June 27, 2013

The cost of curtailing the 4/20 event in 2013 was reduced by nearly $17,000 compared with costs incurred in 2012, University of Colorado Boulder administrators announced today. CU-Boulder spent $107,794 to close the campus to non-affiliates this year, and $124,561 to close the campus on April 20, 2012.

The administration conducted both closures due to the disruptions of research, teaching and basic university business resulting from the previous unsanctioned gatherings related to 4/20, which grew to around 12,000 participants in the Norlin Quad in 2011 and presented numerous safety, emergency response and crowd management challenges. 

“This unorganized gathering disrupted the basic business of the campus and, as the violence in Denver this year demonstrated, it also has all the elements to become a public safety liability,” said CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano. “For these reasons, we remain determined to permanently end the 4/20 gathering on the CU-Boulder campus.”

Costs for this year's 4/20 campus closure were as follows:

  • $70,850 for CU police/security/dispatcher/parking overtime and labors costs for officers from outside agencies;
  • $9,881 for Argus security staff assisting with police/parking operations;
  • $4,431 for Fire Department/ambulance coverage;
  • $12,025 on miscellaneous expenses, including equipment, supplies, operations facility rental, printing, and food and water for personnel;
  • $5,016 for parking equipment/rentals, such as cones, barricades and variable message signs noting the campus closure;
  • $5,591 for overtime labor costs in facilities management (groundskeeping, locksmiths and other facilities employees).

On the matter of the costs to the campus of ending the 4/20 gathering, DiStefano summed up the university’s position in clear terms.

“While this is not money we are eager to spend, we have to ask ourselves what the costs are to us for having our work disrupted or having a student or bystander injured because we allowed the gathering on the campus,” he said.

Funding for both campus closures came entirely from campus insurance premium rebates resulting from reductions in liability and hazard claims. The expense will not impact tuition or utilize taxpayer dollars.