By Michella Vega
The College’s first Rape Aggression Defense System (RAD) class, designed to provide information and teach self-defense to women, was held last Saturday and Sunday in the Cromwell Hall Main Lounge.
Campus Police Officer Matt Mastrosimone, a certified RAD instructor, taught the class of three students. It was initially supposed to be a class of eight.
When asked what the central goal of RAD was, Mastrosimone said, “It is to develop and enhance the options of self-defense, so they may become viable considerations to the woman who is attacked.”
According to Mastrosimone, 90 percent of the class involves informing yourself of the different risks concerning personal safety, while the other 10 percent includes physical self-defense training.
When asked why they were having these classes now, Mastrosimone said that in the past they had limited direction, but now with Campus Police Chief John Collins, they are getting better at organizing such classes.
Mastrosimone offered tips for women such as “know your surroundings,” and “be aware of what is going on.” He said that the class builds self-confidence.
Mastrosimone said Campus Police could get to someone within 30 seconds from anywhere on campus if they were in peril.
While the class is only currently available to women, Mastrosimone hopes to extend it to men in the future.
The class started out with a two-hour PowerPoint presentation, which informed students of different risk-type situations they might find themselves in and what action they should take to remove themselves from a position of danger.
Mastrosimone then had the students exercise and went over some defense and offense techniques, such as the “parrying move” and the “hammer fist.” The students yelled back, “No!” and “Get Back!” while holding back laughs and throwing punches.
“I feel safer on campus after taking the RAD class,” senior nursing major Christine Lowery said.
Mastrosimone expressed his hope that the class would continue and be held at least three times a semester so that it could expand to a more diverse group of people.