By: Imogen Francis/Staff writer
The FIU Police Department will be holding a women’s self-defense class on Thursday, Feb. 7, at the Biscayne Bay campus following several safety incidents in the past year, according to a member of the Student Government Council at BBC.
Aaliyah Gordon, director of events for the Student Government Association at BBC, said that the attack of two MAST@FIU students on Monday, Sept. 10, and other safety problems at BBC were contributing factors to wanting to organize this class.
Students were worried about their safety, she said, especially in unlit areas around BBC, which prompted SGC-BBC to bring women’s self-defense classes to the north campus.
Sergeant Jose Ramirez of FIUPD told Student Media that there’s been a feeling of fear around campus since the attack on the students, which is to be expected.
“Whenever there is an incident people become more paranoid about their safety,” Ramirez said.
The class is open to all FIU students as well as high school students from MAST@FIU.
Cristina Madrigal, assistant principal of MAST@FIU, wants her students to be able to protect themselves no matter what situation they’re in.
“Regardless of whether or not there has been an incident I think it’s a good idea for everyone to be able to defend themselves whether here or anywhere they go,” Madrigal said to Student Media.
Ramirez said the class is comprised of two parts and will begin with a safety presentation which gives participants tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of an assault. The next portion will be more hands-on, teaching five basic self-defense moves in case of an attack.
The National Self-Defense Institute, a non-profit which creates public safety programs, created the women’s self-defense class specifically for females fending off male attackers, but they are currently working on putting together a class for men, according to Ramirez.
Gordon also hopes to see male classes in the future.
“It’s not just females that can get attacked, and these classes we have now are just the beginning step,” said Gordon.
Although the Modesto Maidique Campus regularly has self-defense classes, this will be BBC’s second time hosting a class.
“I hope that we can continue this going forward and not just have one per semester but maybe two or three,” Gordon said.
Gordon estimates there will be around 30 to 45 FIU and MAST@FIU students and faculty attending the class.