Over the last few decades, the rise of crime in institutions of higher learning has become a major concern to students and other stakeholders. Research conducted in Philadelphia on the crime rate in learning institutions depict that the University of Philadelphia has the highest, while Temple University comes in second. In 2014, for instance, there were 600 cases of crime reported in the university, which translated to 19.84 cases for every 1000 students. Out of those crimes reported, they included rape cases, burglary, and murder as well. According to the Temples News, rape cases in the campus have doubled ever since, with seven, six and twelve cases reported in 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively. There are also over 150 robbery and burglary cases reported between 2014 and 2016, while two students were killed last year, who were Jenna Burleigh and Daniel Duignam. These statistics depict how important self-defense classes are vital in the campus. This study is, therefore, a proposal of introducing self-defense class to help students in protecting themselves in these crimes.
My proposal to the Board of Trustees, the President of the Temple University, the Criminal Justice Department, as well as the Temple University Police Department, is to include compulsory self-defense and security classes into the University's curriculum. All students who will join the University in or after fall of 2019 are expected to participate. The main purpose of these classes is to increase the students' safety and reduce crime in the facility. However, the classes will provide other important skills for students, including physical skills and fitness, reduce the risk of victimization while increasing physical safety awareness, through teaching the students how the criminals work, and safety actions to reduce crime prevalence. Further, students would learn to develop relationships amongst themselves, as well as develop self-confidence and which would increase collaboration amongst themselves.
Theoretical introduction to crime prevention-students would be required to read books that help them cub crime in society such as "A Comprehensive Guide to Self-defense," "Real World Self-defense" or "A Guide to Staying Alive in Dangerous Times." Reading these books will provide the tips, tactics, and tricks needed to teach the students on how to deal with these dangerous situations. Further cases studies in various subjects like self-defense, court cases, and psychology will be necessary for this endeavor. Reading books would help the students know the legal part, while psychological teaching will teach them how to deal with assault and violation, in the event they become victims.
Practical self-defense skills-this is a physical training to teach students fighting skills, including kickboxing, wrestling, and others; and how to apply these skills under attack. Also, this section would include self-management practices meant to enable the students to control their minds and body when attacked.
To find the reaction of students in the campus on their reaction to the introduction of mandatory self-defense classes, I sought the response of ten students on the following questions:
- Do you agree with mandatory self-defense class or not?
- Have you been assaulted?
- Do you know someone who has been assaulted?
The result for these questions revealed that 7 out of the 10 students agreed to the introduction of these classes and believe that it is a great idea and that 3 of them feel that it should be an elective class, although they like the idea. Further, out of the 10 students I surveyed, 1 of them has been a victim of assault and they know someone who is a victim as well.
Comparison with other Universities
When I enquired from my friend at California State University about the self-defense system in their school, I found out that after the spring of 2016, a rape aggression defense (RAD) was introduced, after a girl was raped in the dormitory. The University of Southern California, which is situated at high crime zone in Downtown Los Angeles, offers self-defense classes of 12 hours and students receive a certificate of completion. This certificate acts as an encouragement for students to take part. In the University of Pennsylvania, which has the highest crime rate of all universities in Philadelphia, offers RAD self-defense for free, in the Department of Special Services within the Division of Public Safety to all members of the university's community. In Drexel University, self-defense classes are offered during the weekend from 8.30 in the morning to 6.00 pm, all day. This course is free to the students, but I opine that one day is not enough for this class. Finally, the University of Denver offers 9 different self-defense classes for students and staff such as adaptive shooter response, RAD and crime prevention; all for free.
My proposal seeks to ensure that 1000 students take the classes every semester, and every professor will have 3 sections of 33 students each.
Recruitment of 10 experienced trainers on self-defense courses to start on January 1. There are 3 trainers already at Temple University: Leroy Wimberly, Jonathan Woodson, and James Friel, meaning 7 more are needed. They can be recruited the Temple Police Department or even Self-defense schools in Philadelphia.
Development of the course plan to start on February 1, 2019. Course goals to be developed; a guide to what students will gain and what they will do after completion of course. Also, the curriculum will be developed by the trainers-the materials to use in teaching and for reference.
Classrooms to be prepared by June 1. The classes to be conducted in the Pearson and McGonigle Halls. They have the necessities needed like sports courts and the likes.
Purchase of class supplies and needed by trainers by June 15. In addition to books, other tools like boxing bags and gloves, rubber guns and knives will be required.
Promotion through the Temple community by July 1. This to include mentioning the classes to the parents, through social media and other avenues, to increase the popularity and provide clarity about the class.
Teaching to start on August 26th after the procedures above have been completed.
Expenditure Cost in $
- Salaries 480,000
- Books 30,000
- Tools and Instruments 20,000
- Insurance 15,000
- Promotion 5,000
- TOTAL 550,000
This proposal will help reduce the crime rate in the university, as well as equip the students with defense skills in case they are attacked. Moreover, the training will help students to have physical fitness and change their mental approach to health and fitness. Students will also gain psychological knowledge, increase self-esteem and self-confidence. Finally, students will earn 3 credits which would be added to their overall credit required for graduation.
Temple University should implement mandatory self-defense classes into the curriculum to help reduce the rate of crime in the institution and the community at large. These classes will enable the students to gains skills to defend themselves from attacks, as well as help them have positive thoughts other than crime. Also, the classes will enable them to gain psychological knowledge, physical fitness, and stronger collaboration. Further, implementation of the classes is very affordable for the university and will not only benefit the students, but also the community.
Bowen, L. (2018). Reported rapes and disciplinary actions increase. The Temple News. Retrieved November 6, 2018, from https://temple-news.com/reported-rapes-and-disciplinary-actions-increase/
Lala, E. (2015). How safe is Temple?. PhillyVoice. Retrieved November 6, 2018, from https://www.phillyvoice.com/how-safe-temple/
Morse, R., Brooks, E., Mason, M. (2018). How U.S. news calculated the 2019 Best Colleges Rankings. U.S.News and World Report. Retrieved number 6, 2018 from https://www.usnews.com/education/articles/2009/08/19/self-defense-classes-gain-popularity-on-college-campuses
Sasko, C. (2014). Self-defense class combats violence. The Temple News. Retrieved November 6, 2018, from https://temple-news.com/self-defense-class-combats-violence/
Stern, D. (2014). What are the benefits of self-defense classes. Sports Rec.. Retrieved November 6, 2018, from https://www.sportsrec.com/254941-what-are-the-benefits-of-self-defense-classes.html
Sethna, E. (2016). Why you need to take a self-defense class. Odyssey. Retrieved November 6, 2018, from https://www.theodysseyonline.com/why-self-defense-should-be-taught-in-all-schools
Zenplanner. (2017). Smart tips for hosting a self-defense class at your school. Zenplanner. Retrieved November 6, 2018, from https://zenplanner.com/host-a-self-defense-class/
RAD self-defense courses. (2018). Retrieved November 6, 2018 from https://www.publicsafety.upenn.edu/safety-initiatives/rad-self-defense-courses/
2017 Temple University annual crime rate and statistics. (2017). Philadelphia, PA. Retrieved November 6, 2018, from https://safety.temple.edu/sites/campussafety/files/ASAFSR2017_FINAL_CHARTS_508.pdf
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