Indiana State University Newsroom

Safety sells student, mom on Indiana State

July 8, 2015

When Haley Sluboski and her mother visited Indiana State University to scope out prospective colleges, their first meeting was with campus police.

Campus safety is that important to Sluboski and her family - so important that her list of potential colleges and universities included only those pre-screened for their commitment to student safety.

"My mom wanted to talk about a couple of certain things and she wanted me to talk about campus safety and what ISU had to offer versus other campuses," Sluboski said. "She wanted to meet the person who would be in charge in case anything happened."

Sluboski is from East Hartford, Conn., and because she would be attending college far from home, her mom, Cathy Hale, said, "I needed to be sure that (Indiana State) had the elements in place for her safety."

Hale got that assurance when she and her daughter met with Joe Newport, chief of police at Indiana State who was assistant chief at the time of the 2010 meeting.

"(He) sat right down with me and told me what I could expect and answered my questions very openly and responsibly," she said.

Hale knew more than most parents what questions to ask. She is a past administrator with the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, which recently awarded accreditation to Indiana State's Department of Public Safety. Accreditation followed a lengthy process requiring the development or modification of written policies and directives and adherence to more than 200 different standards. Indiana State is one of 15 colleges and universities to receive initial accreditation this year and the only one in Indiana to be accredited by the association.

It was while working for the association that Hale said she "became aware of what happens on campus. It's the first time students are away from their parents. They're given freedoms that they're not used to having and quite often they put themselves, in some ways, at risk."

Indiana State joined the association in 2012. Membership ensures that university police stay on top of the latest developments in campus law enforcement and are committed to professionalism.

Indiana State was the fourth of five universities Sluboski and Hale planned to visit, but they were so impressed by their time in Terre Haute that they canceled the fifth visit and "went to the mall in Rhode Island instead of going to a university," Sluboski recalled with a smile.

There were other factors that went into her choice of colleges - the attractiveness of Indiana State's tree-filled campus and the "welcoming" atmosphere of the university and its people, Sluboski said.

As she prepares to enter her senior year, Sluboski, a communication major, said the university has lived up to the high expectations she and her mom set when it comes to campus safety.

"As long as I can remember, we've had Rave (text messaging) alerts so I've known when things have happened on campus. I haven't really had any problems with campus safety in my time here."

Photo: - Indiana State University Police Chief Joe Newport poses with (from left) Haley Sluboski, a student who chose to attend Indiana State because of its commitment to public safety, Cpl. Tamara Watts, who coordinated the university police department's accreditation efforts, and Michele Barrett, assistasnt chief. (ISU/Rachel Keyex)

Photo: - Cpl. Tamara Watts of the Indiana State University Public Safety Department holds the department's certificate of accreditation from the International Association of College Law Enforcement Administrators during the association's annual meeting in Nashville, Tenn. June 30, 2015. Watts coordinated the department's accreditation efforts. Also pictured are Bill Mercier (left), retired chief of the department and current Chief Joe Newport.

Media contact and writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or