By Alexa Doiron
The Kappa Alpha Order made a statement before Spring Break by hosting a women’s self-defense class that they believe all women on our campus have a right to feel safe and able to protect themselves. Officers Spence and Enquist, along with Area Director Nikki Sanguliano and junior Danny Hales, came to lead the class. A decent amount of women from various organizations were in attendance and seemed to really appreciate what they were learning.
To get certified to teach the class, Sanguliano had to attend a grueling fourteen-hour class. To her, though, it was important because she wants to spread safety for women on our campus.
Hales is a blackbelt in karate and became first interested in self-defense at the age of seven. From doing this, he was able to learn a lot of different techniques and exercises, as well as self-discipline and motivation. As philanthropy chair of the Kappa Alpha Order, Hales sought out a fun activity that would be relevant to students on campus.
“It is so important for every person to know some skills in how to defend themselves and feel safe as they go through life, especially on a college campus,” said Hales. “The main reason KA set this up is because we know how important it is for women on campuses to feel safe, and to be prepared in the case of an emergency.”
This is the second event put on by the Kappa Alpha Order that promotes women’s safety on campus. It seems to be well-received by the female students on campus and a lot of women have appreciated the opportunity to learn more about their own personal safety.
“I think it is a great to see the brotherhood so active in this movement,” Junior Sophie Bolton said.
These classes have become a movement for women across the country as a way to regain a sense of their own personal safety after hearing horror stories of other women who have fallen victim to assault. A study done in 2015 by the Association of American Universities showed that one in five undergraduate female students will be a victim of assault on a college campus.
The issue has become so prominent lately that The White House created a board to combat this epidemic. Recently, they started the “It’s on Us” campaign which promotes the idea of people stepping off the sidelines and taking action to prevent assault on campus, much like Hales and Sanguliano are doing with their classes.
The Obama Administration has started to take steps as well, which include sending guidance to federally funded institutions in order for them to better understand the laws in order to prevent and respond to assaults as well as reviewing the existing laws that are in place for these matters.
Classes such as this one have been showing up more and more across colleges campuses due to the rising awareness of female assault at undergraduate institutions. However, while they are a great sense of strength for the female community, there are still rising questions about why there is a need for so many of these classes.
“They keep telling us to defend ourselves, but they’re not teaching men to know what their limits are or teaching them to stop their actions that could lead to assault in the first place,” Junior Katie Jensen said.
This brings to mind the incident from last year at the University of Virginia where sorority members were ordered not to go out to parties because of safety issues. The issue there, though, was that the women should not have to monitor their actions to prevent assault, but rather than looking at the deeper issues of why assault occurs so frequently.
These classes are the first step in promoting women’s safety in college, but there is still more that could be done. The group Students for Equality is a great place to look for ways to help promote women’s rights and look for solutions to this rising problem of assault on campus. The self-defense class is free and open to any student or organization that would like to participate.
The officers and Sanguliano are eager to spread their classes and can easily be contacted by their information on the school website.