Male students not allowed to take only UA self-defense class

Male students not allowed to take only UA self-defense class

CW | Belle Newby

When registering for classes, many students often sign up for a one-hour kinesiology credit to help fill out their schedule. Besides your run-of-the-mill basketball or running class, another available option is Self-Defense for Women.

However,  the class registration is one of the only classes on campus geared to only female students. Some male students on campus are interested in such a course and would want the opportunity to take it if it were offered to them.

Conrad Wiley, a junior majoring in accounting, is one of the male students who said he believes they should offer a self-defense course for men.

“I think they should have a defense class for men because they are just as likely to be attacked and everyone has a right to defend themselves,” Wiley said.

The class is taught once a week at the University of Alabama Police Department headquarters by an instructor, Vivian Fowler, a graduate student studying sports pedagogy and a UAPD officer. It is a part of the Sexual Harassment, Assault, and Rape Prevention program. In the class, women are taught skills that focus on techniques to protect themselves from rape or sexual assault.

“The course is just for women," Fowler said. "The main premise is to keep them from being a victim of sexual assault. The course manual is Rape Prevention, and men have different threats."

Meredith Blanchard, a sophomore majoring in biology, is a current student in the self-defense for women class and agrees the University should open the course description or offer a separate course for men.

“They absolutely should offer a program for boys. Some females can be crazy, and you never know what can happen. It’s important for both sexes to be able to defend themselves in any situation,” Blanchard said.

In the past 18 months, there have been 10 reported incidents of robbery or theft to the UAPD, and six of the victims of the crimes were male UA students, according to UAPD’s website.

“I think most robbers are either armed or physically larger than the people they target,” Wiley said.

Violence between men and women was recently brought in to the spotlight due to the Ray Rice incident. Another aspect that a men’s defense class could focus on is how men can help women who are being attacked.

Some believe the class should also still keep a similar focus as the women’s class.

“Even though boys are less likely to be victims of domestic abuse or rape, I think that it should still have that focus in mind," Blanchard said. "If the boys had a class, they could even have a point that focuses on girls and how to defend them if they are being victims of sexual abuse."

While self defense class for men is listed in the directory, there is no record of one being held or active in previous semesters. Fowler said she had no knowledge of the class for males.

“Self defense is a valuable asset that I believe every student at Alabama should have access to,” Wiley said.

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Crimson White.