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ISU Expecting Record Number for Designated Walker Program

In 2009, Indiana State University implemented the Designated Walker program to keep participants of "The Walk" safe during homecoming festivities. This year, organizers expect nearly 300 volunteers come Saturday morning.
These streets may seem calm now, but come Saturday they will be filled with Indiana State University students, alumni and Terre Haute residents to celebrate homecoming.

"I do the walk because it's part of ISU tradition," said Indiana State student, Anthony Jones. "I know a lot of people that did it before I was 21. I always wanted to experience it an be part of ISU tradition."

In 2009, the university implemented Designated Walkers. Organizers believe the program not only allows walkers to feel more comfortable, but gives students a chance to gain community service hours.

"I thought I should help the community," said Designated Walker, Spencer Mark. "I don't have anything to do during that part of homecoming so I just thought her why not hang out with my friends that are older."

"To know that they're not going to do something stupid because I'll have their back" Alayna Ridge, a Designated Walker, said.

"I know last year arrests have went down from in the past," said Designated Walker organizer, Gabby Treat. "So I think that our Designated Walkers are doing their jobs. By having more this year, hopefully arrests will go down some more."

Nearly 100 students attended tonight's final meeting for Designated Walkers. Organizers expect nearly triple that amount on Saturday.

"This year I think is our highest number of Designated Walkers. We are expected 300, maybe some more," Treat said.

The Walk takes participants from bar to bar down Wabash Avenue starting near ISU campus and ending at Memorial Stadium. Designated Walkers are stationed along the path or travel with Walkers with specific directions to ensure their safety.

"Designated Walkers need to make sure they step up if they see any inappropriate situation between people," said Treat. Seeing people stumbling in the streets, we want to keep them safe, keep them out of the roads. Anyone that looks like they need to go home or is getting warned by police officers we want o make sure and help them find sober rides home."

Treat also reminded students of Indiana's Lifeline Law that protects those under 21 and drinking, from repercussions of the law if they call 911 to help someone that has also had too much to drink.
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