WSC WAAVE Club hosts self-defense class

Autumn McIntyre, News Writer

WSC’s Women’s Allies And Validating Equality club hosted a self-defense class taught by Dr. Mike White, assistant professor of communication arts, who is a sixth-degree black belt to help students feel safer on campus.

For the second year in a row, Mike White taught a self-defense lesson to students on Tuesday, Sept. 21. WAAVE began sponsoring these events in order to help students feel more confident and comfortable in every space they are in.

“We all noticed that almost every person in the room had some kind of self-defense device on their keys,” Lauren White, president of the WAAVE club, said. “Feeling safe and confident that you can defend yourself in any situation relieves a lot of anxieties. This class gave the proper and safe steps to assure more prevention.”

Those that attended the event were taught how to throw proper punches, how to find their center of balance while in a fighting stance, and how to escape if they were grabbed.

“We talked about escape techniques, because getting to a safe place is the number one most important step to prevent harm,” said Dr. White. “Throwing proper punches is also important, because if you don’t hold your fist the correct way, you can break your fingers.”

MacKenzie Peterson, a WSC transfer student, said the class was very helpful.

“There wasn’t a huge turnout, but I think that it was better to have smaller number of people since Dr. White was able to give us more personalized instruction,” Peterson said. “It was a very relaxed class which was nice. Talking about things like sexual assault or just straight out being attacked can be very upsetting, but Dr. White and Lauren did an amazing job at making sure we were comfortable and used appropriate language.”

Dr. White helped students practice with partners and emphasized consent when touching each other to keep people calm and comfortable.

“It was a very informative class that, in my opinion, should be more often,” Peterson said. “I would definitely encourage people to check it out. You may never use it, but you might need it. Giving up an hour of your time now might save your life in the future.”

White started WAAVE to talk about intersecting societal issues on a broader basis.

“I have always been interested in Angela Davis and Kimberlé Crenshaw’s work as a sociologist and a political scientist who both focus on intersectionality,” White said. “I wanted to bring our campus together to build a healthy coalition of people with a wide variety of life experience to promote equity, advocacy, progress, and to educate others on intersecting multidimensional issues.”

WAAVE will be sponsoring similar events during Sexual Health Week with the Student Counseling Center and Happy and Healthy week starting on Oct. 28.