Campus Activities Board hosts self-defense class

By Ashley Dwy

DeKALB — Nicole Snell, a nationwide speaker with the Students Fight Back organization and the Campus Activities Board, taught students verbal and physical techniques to fight back against potential predators from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Holmes Student Center’s Capitol Room.

On top of verbal and physical techniques to fight off predators, Snell taught about bystander intervention, such as what to do if students are witnesses to an attack or a potential attack. Different resources in the community for victims were shared, such as Safe Passage and national hotline numbers that students can call. 

It is important for students to know how to defend themselves in any given situation, coordinator for special events Tateauna Fleming said. 

“There’s always stuff in the news about someone getting kidnapped or getting hurt or assaulted in some kind of way, so this is a great event to inform students so we can know how to protect ourselves and just feel safe,” Campus Activities Board president Quintin Phillips said.

During Snell’s presentation, she said awareness is key. She recommended pulling one’s shoulders back and keeping their head up, this way you seem more confident and look more aware of your surroundings. 

“Awareness isn’t about being on high alert every second of every day,” Snell said. “It’s just making the conscious effort to notice things that are happening around you.”

First-year undecided major Desiree Payne said this tip was the most useful for her.

“It’s important to be more aware, and make sure you’re aware of your surroundings,” Payne said. “People should also know how important it is to stand up for and always be there for others.”

Snell said that she has never had to use her physical self-defense on anyone. The most she has done is lifted her hands up to signal she did not want someone getting close and yelling, “No, stop, I don’t want any trouble.”

Despite this, she demonstrated the weakest parts on both a male and female body by using Phillips and Fleming as visual aids. She marked on their bodies the weakest parts to go for, such as the jaw, ankle and spine.

Vocal self-defense is key, Snell said, which is why she demonstrated many ways to firmly tell others “no,” and “you’re making me uncomfortable, stop.”

“Saying no matters,” freshman Keshara Pipkins, health science major, said. “Nobody can ignore you saying no.”