The University Police Department (UPD) has started offering lessons for self-defense in the Wellness Center for students, staff, and faculty.
Sergeant Tori Hurtig is one of the officers teaching and watching over this program. She says it’s important to learn these strategies and maneuvers in case anything was to happen to someone on campus.
“I think it’s important to learn self-defense,” Hurtig said. “Students should learn how to be more aware of themselves so they are prepared to handle any situations that they may find themselves in.”
Although the university doesn’t foresee a lot of times where self-defense will be needed on campus, UPD said it’s important to know the basics and strategies to keep people from having to use self-defense.
The first class took place on Jan. 17. So far, only women have attended this class and UPD has yet to see any men participate in this program. Now, the class is trying to market it in a way that men will also be interested in the class, as this course is meant for everyone.
Hurtig said she taught this class because she is passionate in educating others on reducing the risk of an attack and preventing people from becoming a victim. Some of the tactics and strategies taught in this course are de-escalation, resisting and surviving an attacker. There might be more added depending on what students and staff would like to learn or see in this program.
“We hope all students, staff and faculty are prepared and able to defend themselves, if necessary, despite me not being personally aware of any self-defense used on campus yet,” Hurtig said.
This event was coordinated and put together by Dottie Kerkman in the Wellness Center. The second class on Feb. 5 will teach old concepts from the last session, as well as new subjects and teachings people would like to learn. The class is two hours long and takes place in room 112 in the wellness center.