Learning to Defend

Opinions_Chris Violette-Flickr

Flickr / Chris Violette

Kaetlyn Dembkoski
Staff Writer

When doing last minute preparations for college, we hope to pack everything we need. From school supplies to room decorations, the essentials are all boxed up. We’ve got to double check that we’ve got everything since college can be a scary place if we’re not fully prepared. The classes, the professors and the short time spans to get from building to building can be difficult to maintain. But it can be scarier if we don’t have protection.

Campuses are dangerous. Situations can change in a matter of seconds, but the streets cannot constantly be monitored. Students receive emails about assault attacks frequently. Thus, students need to know how to keep themselves safe. However, most students are not prepared to protect themselves for any circumstance that may arise. They instead leave it to chance, choosing to walk home alone without protection or to rely on prohibited weapons.

Regardless of how quiet they may sound, no one should assume that the streets are as quiet as they seem. Whether someone is new to the campus or well-versed with shortcuts to safely return home, walking alone is not something that should be left to chance. Always having a buddy is an easy way to ensure that everyone makes it back home safely.  

All students need to consider the rules when using a weapon or device like a container of pepper spray for protection. For example, having any kind of actual weaponry, such as a gun or pocket knife, should not relied on. This is because these items will get their user in trouble even though they are just using these weapons to protect themselves.

Since other larger and more effective weapons are prohibited, that leaves pepper spray and other sprays to ward off potential attackers. However, pepper spray is not a better option. While the keychain bound devices are at arm’s reach and easy to use, they can be just as harmful to the user as they are to the attacker. In the case of a fight or an attack, pepper spray allows the attacker to get too close. Despite the immediate effect it has on the attacker, being pepper-sprayed does not necessarily mean the advances will stop.

One of the biggest issues with permitted protection options is they allow the attacker to make their advances and get near the person they are after. As they approach the person and see the device, however, the attacker has ample opportunity to evade or even disarm the device out of the user’s hands. At that point, the person is defenseless.

All students should know how to properly defend themselves. As a third degree black belt in TaeKwonDo myself, I’ve learned the ins and outs of fighting my way out of my circumstances and getting away. This does not mean this is the only route. There are many programs that can teach defensive measures. That said, many means of self-defense stem from learning when to fight and when to flee, which can be as important.

By better educating our student body about campus safety, many serious issues can be avoided. We can learn to be better prepared by always having on a buddy.  Then we can learn which defensive weapons can be beneficial to us. Learning to defend ourselves by means of programs or self-defense classes can only help students out. Another beneficial means of defending one’s self can also be learning to judge flight or fight situations. The more knowledgeable the student body is, the better prepared they’ll be in times of crisis.

Categories: Columns, Opinions


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