Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

SU Seeks Protection Through Self-Defense

Nicole SCHLAEPPI • The Spectator

In light of recent attacks on and near campus, Seattle University plans to add a new self defense class at the Connolly Center.

Plans are underway to provide a new self-defense class for students interested in learning more about ways to respond to attack and potentially dangerous surroundings. Public Safety and University Recreation are partnering up to offer a one-day workshop at the Connolly Center during spring quarter.

Director of University Recreation (URec) Dion Wade said the one-day workshop may be expanded.

Nicole SCHLAEPPI  •  The Spectator
Nicole SCHLAEPPI • The Spectator

Seattle University students practice martial arts in the Connolly Center.

“It’s still up in the air what the focus will be,” said Wade. “Overall, it will offer personal defense and awareness building. We will gauge the interest and then decide how many times we will do it. We will hopefully continue working with Public Safety to offer something in our martial arts room at least once a quarter.”

The workshop is going to be included in the URec group fitness classes, which require a one-time
$5 fee.

“I think self-defense is an important topic and I hope everyone takes the opportunity to enhance their personal safety,” Wade said.

There have been several timely warning notifications from Public Safety over the past few weeks, including one that a student had been stabbed on campus. The events have left some students feeling unsafe and unable to protect themselves.

To combat this, some students feel that the university should offer more self defense classes on campus.

“We used to have things like karate and ju-jitsu on campus, but it was expensive and they weren’t able to keep it,” said senior Chelsea Schmidt. “But I think they could have made a better effort to keep it—it was a poor decision.”

Junior Haley Kruell also expressed her concern regarding everything going on around the Seattle U campus.

“I definitely feel a little unsettled by all the crime that’s happened lately,” said Kruell. “There was a shooting that happened a block from my house and I walk by it every day on my way to practice.”

To curb this fear, Schmidt stressed that students should try to be as aware of their surroundings as possible.

“There are key things that have nothing to do with physical interaction that are important to know,” Schmidt said. “Be aware of what’s happening around you and don’t let yourself get in bad situations in the first place.”

The reality, however, is that few people are able to avoid potentially dangerous situations and such advice can put ownice on the victim instead of the perpetrator. When it comes to crime, things can just happen and crime is especially prevalent in urban environments like the one surrounding Seattle U.

However, there are ways students can learn how to best protect themselves should any kind of attack occur.

Aside from the new self-defense workshop, Seattle U offers another choice: the Martial Arts Club. Classes are taught in the Connolly Center every Monday and Wednesday from 8 to 10 p.m. The club began in 2009 and was made an official branch of the World Shorinji Kempo Organization in 2010.

The club is open to all Seattle U students and alumni and anyone may come to observe practice. If a student is interested in joining, they must send an application to the Shorinji Kempo headquarters in Japan. After that, the student may receive a curriculum and philosophy book to study Shorinji Kempo.

“Any martial arts I think is more than just training how to fight,” said Onaka Hiroshi, the club’s sensei. “They must experience both the philosophy and the physical training.”

The registration fee is around $25

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and the books are under $30. Once becoming an official member, the cost is only $20 per month.

Outside of Seattle U’s campus, Capitol Hill also has plenty to offer in self-defense.

“I don’t see why anyone shouldn’t take a class, because it is for their own safety,” Kruell said. “We live in a city and our campus is very urban. Why not take the time to invest in your safety?”

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