OPINION | Students should be able to defend themselves

Self-defense is being taught at college campuses around the nation. Writer Bailey Chism argues that DSU doesn’t have enough classes for students who are interested in learning about self-defense. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Students in St. George don’t have the resources to be able to defend themselves from an assault on and around campus.

Dixie State University doesn’t offer enough self-defense classes to its students. The FAST program has one self-defense class available (FAST 1407) to all students which is open for enrollment each semester. 

Self-defense doesn’t only mean physical defense, mental defense is also important. Assault isn’t only physical, there are a lot of people that are mentally and emotionally assaulted every day. DSU doesn’t offer enough self-defense courses to its students to be fully prepared for what could happen. 

We’ve all gotten the alert emails informing us of an assault that happened around campus, but we never see the university do anything to combat this. We’ll see more DSU campus police patrolling for a few days, but once it’s been forgotten, that stops. 

DSU should offer more classes to students that will help with physical and mental assault. Learning to fight back the bullies who only use words is just as important as fighting the physical attacks.

According to Emrald Sethna from the Odyssey, “Youth affected by crime develop lifetime habits of mistrust, low self-esteem and have a greater chance of getting into physical confrontations.”

For those who have been affected by assault, it’s harder to find the strength to fight against it when it’s already affecting your life so deeply. By offering more classes to help students, DSU can lessen the number of assaults on and around campus, therefore making it a safer place.

Considering St. George is a high trafficking area, students are more at risk than others would be. Making sure there are enough well-taught classes is important to keep students and anyone in the city safe. 

According to Meg Stone from HuffPost, “College administrators and everyone else committed to student safety should ensure that self-defense programs are relevant and well-taught.”

Ensuring those teaching self-defense classes have the right qualifications to teach is important because it makes or breaks the lessons learned in the class. If the instructor isn’t the right teacher for it, students won’t learn anything valuable and still won’t be able to defend themselves the best they can. 

According to The New England Journal of Medicine, “Most campuses use programs that have never been formally evaluated or have not proved to be effective in reducing the incidence of sexual assault.” 

Simply having a self-defense class offered does not mean that it’s giving the education to students that it should. DSU should be more involved in self-defense for its students and make sure they are doing everything they can to keep their students safe. By offering more self-defense classes, community events, even weekly events, will provide the community with the knowledge and skills they need to protect themselves.