‘Dinner and Defense’ Aims to Protect Students

By Evi Arthur

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Be sure to look out for flyers around campus for more information. Photo courtesy of Megan Serratore

In Annie Warshaw’s gender justice class, the students picked a service learning project to complete over the semester, and one group decided that it was going to put on a self-defense class.

“I think self-defense is important because I’m afraid to walk to my car at night, so that’s not okay,” Megan Serratore, a freshman and a double major in English and women’s and gender studies said. Serratore said she had the idea to host a self-defense seminar after dreaming about it the night before.

The class will be taught by Thousand Waves, a martial arts and self-defense center in Chicago.

“They’re a lot about empowerment and conflict resolution and de-escalating violence,” Jonah Meidl Zahorodny, a senior and criminal justice major said. “It’s a really hands-on seminar, there’s a lot of moving around, you get to do a lot of different moves.”

Serratore and the other members in her group chose Thousand Waves to teach the class specifically because of their curriculum and the power that it gives women.

“The self defense idea as a whole can be kind of victim blaming but this is going to be more empowering vocally,” Serratore said.

Alice Jones from the Title IX office will be at the event to give a presentation about the resources available for students at Roosevelt. The seminar will be free, but students are encouraged to donate via GoFundMe. All proceeds will be going to the Rape Victim Advocates (RVA).

Professor Annie Warshaw said she sees self-defense as a great way for women to feel ownership of their space and learn to use their voice, as well as being valuable knowledge for both men and women.

“I hope the students who attend will feel empowered to take up space and use their voice,” Professor Warshaw said. Warshaw’s main goal with assigning the service learning projects was to show her students the connection between activism and the academic theory that she teaches in her class.

“I’m excited to have a better sense of well-being afterwards…it’ll be nice to know that other people that I’m experiencing it with will have the same level of confidence walking out of the experience,” Serratore said.
“We’re not damsels in distress, we just need to be given the tools that men are usually inherently given to defend ourselves,” Serratore said.

The event will take place on Nov. 9 from 5 to 8 p.m. in WB 418. If you would like to attend the class, please text SIGN UP to (219)-413-4895. If you would like to donate to RVA, feel free to visit gofundme.com/womens-self-defense-campaign.

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