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Women take charge of their safety

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Women in Business (WIB) teamed up to put on a self- defense class for their members.

The class was hosted in the Markin Family Student Recreation Center on Feb. 12 by Lt. Noralee Fales, assisted by Sgt. Nick McCumber.

“I think it is important that people do take this class,” said Concetta Gendusa, senior mechanical engineering major and activities chair of SWE.

During the class, the five attendees learned about how to vocalize intent and use some basic self-defense moves to protect themselves.

“I just want to be ready in case something does happen,” Sam Lechowicz, senior psychology and English double major, said.

During the safety portion of the presentation, Fales reminded the attendees that 90 percent of self- defense is awareness.

The women were also shown other simple defense mechanisms, like how to shield her face and how to form a fist properly, to avoid breaking the thumb. When it came to the actual practicing of self- defense moves, the attendees were shown how to use a “bladed stance” to have less of their body facing toward the attacker.

Fales and McCumber also reminded the group that they can help someone being attacked from the sidelines by vocalizing and saying “I’m recording this” or “I’m calling 911.”

If walking alone and talking on the phone with someone, the officers recommended putting the other person on speaker phone and holding your phone in front of you so you can see and hear what’s going on around you.

“We want people to be able to have that confidence to know that they can go out there and walk around campus and do what they need to do and feel safe,” Fales said.

When asked about some basic tips for everyone to stay safe they encourage students to utilize resources that enhance their safety.

“Use the safety cruiser, use the safety walkers, even the police department themselves, and always know that it only takes [someone] to feel unsafe and it’s okay to call the police department and we’ll come out and help them with what it is,” McCumber said.

The Student Patrol is staffed by current Bradley students and operates on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. The Hilltop Safety Cruiser operates from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. every day while school is in session.

BUPD also encourages students to request safety escorts, which is available 24 hours a day at 309-677- 2000.

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