It can never hurt to know a bit about self-defense and personal safety, especially when working, studying or living on a college campus. At UF, students can learn basic safety tips and self-defense strategies at small group seminars.
Chris Moser, Ed.D., assistant professor in the College of Education, and Steven Baum, Lieutenant and assistant director of safety and security, have collaborated to offer several personal safety and self-defense seminars to UF students.
“The self-defense seminars have occurred for about three years, and just this semester, we started collaborating with Campus Security,” said Moser. “I wanted to make sure what I taught contributed to other efforts on campus to keep our community safe.”
Moser made sure that the seminars he taught previously aligned with what UF’s safety and security would expect in response from students who were threatened in some way.
“In the past, I taught seminars and would review personal safety and how to be proactive in minimizing the risk of being attacked or assaulted,” said Moser. “If you do those things well, then you minimize the risk to where, hopefully, you don’t have to utilize self-defense techniques.”
Through the collaborative effort with Campus Security, any group of students – such as a residence hall floor or a student organization – may schedule a personal safety and self-defense seminar.
“It’s important for us to offer this to not only girls, but guys, too,” said Baum. “Our goal here is to provide the safest campus that we can to everyone, and anything we can do to enhance that is our goal for the security office.”
Baum begins the seminars with information about personal safety and tells the participants that everyone is responsible for his or her own safety.
“I also touch on fire safety because we don’t patrol the dorms unless we’re called,” said Baum. “Fire is the biggest killer within college campuses in the world. When you see something that doesn’t look right, give us a call.”
Moser teaches the group several self-defense techniques. Students learn how to remove a threat, how to strike someone and where to strike someone with very basic self-defense techniques.
“We try to limit the number of participants in one seminar to 30 so that I have time to walk around and provide one-on-one instruction,” said Moser. “The students pair up and go through a series of grabs or attacks to teach them how to defend themselves against a variety of attacks that could occur.”
Moser and Baum are planning sessions for faculty, staff and administrators to make sure all areas of campus have this opportunity.
“We’re blessed to live and work in a safe environment, and the University’s campus security and administrators do a lot to make it safe, but an attack can happen anywhere by anyone,” said Moser. “Everyone should have some basic knowledge on how to defend themselves.”
Residence life staff, student organization members or group of students may coordinate a personal safety and self-defense seminar by contacting Moser at firstname.lastname@example.org or Baum at email@example.com.
Written by Sarah Foltz