ICN Community News
Indiana Central News
Terre Haute, Indiana
Terre Haute, Indiana
By Dave Taylor, Indiana State University
Indiana State University has made the 2016 Safe Campus Top 25 List by the National Campus Safety Summit. The list recognizes college and university units for improving campus safety.
"They've proven an outstanding dedication to improving the safety of their students, faculty, staff, and visitors," Linda Shaw, Safe Campus Director, said.
An advisory board of senior-level higher education administrators selects the Top 25 List from more than 4,700 eligible U.S. college or university administrative departments. Units are nominated based on efforts to improve campus safety for the student body.
Indiana State was recognized for its Designated Walker and SoberRide programs designed to help address concerns arising from “The Walk.” The unofficial Homecoming tradition has students, alumni and others walking from the Indiana State campus near downtown Terre Haute to Memorial Stadium. Participants stop at bars along the 2 ½-mile route, resulting in many arrests for alcohol-related offenses and medical calls to assist walkers who became ill.
In 2009, University Police and the Student Health Promotion office teamed up with Refreshment Services Pepsi to launch the Designated Walker program in which students who complete a bystander prevention program agree not to drink alcohol and assist fellow walkers who do drink. They do that by providing business cards of people walkers can call for help or by summoning police or medical personnel themselves if the walkers cannot.
The program began with 32 designated walkers and has since grown to more than 500.
SoberRide was launched in 2010 offering free taxi rides home for Walk participants. More than 400 calls were received the first year, exceeding the ability of available cabs to meet demand. The next year, two 20-passenger buses replaced the cabs to accommodate more walkers.
“As a result of the Designated Walker program and SoberRide, the number of arrests, medical calls and incidents of property damage along Wabash Avenue has declined and Homecoming is now a much safer event for everyone,” said Michele Barrett, assistant police chief. “It’s a great honor to be recognized by Safe Campus. We commend Sgt. Jacque Smith and Aimee Janssen-Robinson, former associate director for of student wellness, for developing and implementing these programs.”
© Indiana Central News. All rights reserved. Terre Haute, Indiana
News Writer: Lucy Perry