Temple Student Government plans to offer two free, hour-long self-defense classes during the spring semester, said Robert Williams, TSG’s director of campus safety.
The university currently offers self-defense classes on Main Campus for credit as well as non-credit, semester-long self-defense courses on Ambler Campus at a cost of $85.
The classes are inconvenient for some students who don’t have much time in their schedules or cannot afford the additional expense, Williams said.
TSG’s course will be taught by a Temple University Police Department officer, said Charles Leone, director of Campus Safety Services.
“Should there be a need to help yourself, we want there to be quick and easy tactics you can use to safeguard yourself,” Leone said. “I personally think it’s a great thing.”
The course will be open to all students and community residents, Williams added.
“Being in North Philly, we’re in the city, being able to know how to protect themselves would be most likely needed,” Williams said. “Even if not a lot of people come, I want them to have a better understanding or feel better about how to protect themselves.”
“Many places offer self-defense classes, but we wanted to provide something for free,” said Kaya Jones, TSG’s vice president of external affairs. “I hope everyone leaves feeling more confident in their ability to protect themselves.”
TSG has yet to confirm when the first class would be offered and where it would be held.
“I’m excited that this is a new initiative, and I’m excited to get it set up and ready to go,” said Student Body President Francesca Capozzi.
The first half of the course will be scenario-based, during which class members think about how they would react in unsafe situations, Williams said. The second half will be more practical, teaching tactics like positioning your body in ways that make it harder to be kidnapped, he added.
“It’s very important that self-defense classes are taught in Temple’s campus because we are an open campus with no borders and we’re not in a college town,” said Cyleigh Russell, a freshman advertising major.
Josh Cotterell, a senior public relations major, said it is a good idea to make sure everyone is equipped to be aware of their surroundings.
“Even though I feel confident in myself, there’s always more you can learn,” Cotterell said. “Someone else will always have more fighting skills they can offer you.”
“As a female in this area, in my last class we were talking about how harassment can turn physical,” said Megan Mahoney, a freshman media studies and production major. “It’s good to have that on your back.”