Students hold self-defense classes after three reports of men targeting women at night


Colin Boyle / Daily Senior Staffer

Kayla Carter, McCormick junior, hosts a self-defense class at Slivka Residential College on Sunday night.

Daisy Conant, Reporter

Northwestern students are feeling uneasy after the University reported three reports of men targeting female students during late-night hours.

The first reported incident took place Oct. 28, and two more occured since then, all on South Campus between 5:30 p.m. and 10:18 p.m., according to an email from University Police Chief Bruce Lewis.

However, that email didn’t arrive until last Friday. The University did not officially respond to the reports until then, when UP alerted students of the third reported attack Thursday night.

Weinberg sophomore Tamar Jacobsohn, a resident of the Delta Zeta sorority house, said many sorority quad residents expressed concerns to University President Morton Schapiro and Lewis after the University had not yet issued a statement in the wake of the first two reported attacks.

“I’m lucky enough to have like a community of people that would tell me about (the attacks),” Jacobsohn said. “But lots of people wouldn’t and wouldn’t keep being cautious.”

While the alert assured community members that UP increased patrols across campus and is taking other precautions with the Evanston Police Department, some students aren’t satisfied, and are taking matters into their own hands.

McCormick junior Kayla Carter decided to organize a self-defense class in Slivka Residential College Sunday night with the hopes of teaching her female peers, especially freshman, how to protect themselves.

“(Northwestern) finally sent out that email, but even that wasn’t really enough,” Carter said. “That’s when I decided that I needed to schedule (a self-defense class) as soon as possible.”

Weinberg sophomore Jamie Miller is also organizing two self-defense classes, which will be held Nov. 16 and 18 at the Delta Zeta sorority house.

Miller said while this is something she’s always wanted to do, she now thinks it’s imperative they be held.

“I get very scared walking at night and have always wanted to learn self defense,” she said. “Because of the attacks, it became something that seemed required to do at the moment.”

Because the reported attacks are happening so close to the Sorority Quad, risk management teams from each chapter suggested members be cautious and travel in pairs.

Northwestern Panhellenic Association President Juliette Johnson plans to meet with chapter presidents and Travis Martin, director of fraternity and sorority life, later this week to discuss what the students would need to make them feel safer, whether that be more lighting, more bluelights or more campus patrolling.

“I just think the whole thing is kind of really worrisome and it brings up a lot of questions on what’s the role of the University, what’s the role of the students, and what’s the role of the fraternity and sorority life office to ensure what’s going to happen next,” Johnson said. “At the end of the day I really hope that there’s a result of this.”

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