After reading the latest local news, some students may be shaking in their snow boots about their safety on and off campus.
However, for those who are concerned, the CU Police Department, in partnership with the Boulder Police Department, as well as the Rec Center are all doing their part to keep students feeling safe and secure.
Last fall and already this semester there have been numerous accounts of sexual assault on and around campus, leaving students feeling leery of party hopping around the Hill. Since then, the CU Police Department has been working with the Boulder Police Department to give students tools and tips to stay safe.
Tim McGraw, a commander at the CU Police Department, recommends rules of common sense when staying out late at night.
“We really want people to pre-plan when they go out at night,” McGraw said.
Free whistles have been given out around campus as a tool for preventing attacks and assaults. McGraw advises to walk with a buddy, carry a whistle and be smart about your surroundings.
“We think it’s a good idea that when people are planning events, they also incorporate a safety component in their plans; a designated driver, or someone to stay sober to watch out for everyone’s safety,” McGraw said.
The Rec Center is also helping students build confidence and stay safe. Last Friday, women were offered a free self-defense class at the Rec Center. Larry Schwarz, the instruction program coordinator at the Rec Center, taught the course. Schwarz advised students to register for the class, at no cost, with a limit of 30 for the class. There was a total of 33 eager women.
“We didn’t turn anybody away,” Schwarz said. “It’s unfortunate to know the things that are driving the need for these classes.”
Schwarz said he has been busy teaching free self-defense classes around campus. Sororities, dorms and different departments within CU have Schwarz “well-booked through weeks ahead.”
Jennifer Bruce, a sophomore chemical and biological engineering major and member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority said she stays smart when going out at night.
“I always go with someone or have someone drive me,” Bruce said.
When asked if she was interested in free self-defense classes, Bruce said she already has some skills available.
“My dad was a professional boxer, so he taught me how to throw a punch,” Bruce said.
The free self-defense classes are being offered not only to help women feel more confident and safe, but also to promote the six-week class being taught at the Rec Center. The class is $32 for sessions on Wednesdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. However, classes fill up quickly. Schwarz will be teaching another free self-defense class at the Rec Center on Friday, March 6.
The classes are not supposed to be all work and no fun.
“It’s all within our best interest to have a good time, and have a safe time,” McGraw said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Taylor Coughlin at Taylor.firstname.lastname@example.org