03/23/2018 By Zachary Nelson Ciara Reed and a few fellow students recently formed the new Self-Defense Club at the University of Washington Bothell. Their goal is simple: bring students and campus safety officers together to strengthen campus security and ensure students are better prepared to deal with emergencies of all sorts. The club offers lectures with safety officers and police to inform students about what to do in case of a campus emergency. The club also offers basic survival classes where students can learn skills such as how to make an emergency kit or what to do if their car breaks down. Ciara Reed Vanessa Munoz photo“Students should feel comfortable in a learning environment. This is necessary to ensure a quality education,” said Reed, a business major. “We created this club to help teach students to become more aware of their surroundings and to try to prevent tragic events from occurring.” Safety officers are coordinating with the club to provide guidance and helpful resources, including the online database about emergency preparedness created by the Office of Campus Safety. “I created this webpage so that students could have better access to information that could end up saving their lives,” said Darren Branum, the emergency preparedness manager for the campus. “It’s my role as the adviser to the Self-Defense Club to give the students the tools and connections they need to achieve their goals.” The club itself is student led. Everyone’s ideas are welcome, say club leaders, who are looking to increase membership and outreach to students across campus. “We are a student-oriented club and are going to do whatever students ask of us to help them feel safer. When we have our weekly meetings, we make sure that everyone has a chance to speak and everyone’s opinion is heard,” said Sean Wilson, a mechanical engineering major and club treasurer. The new club continues to gain members as students realize how important preparedness is, said Reed. “These skills aren’t just something that you learn once and forget,” she said. “What we teach students here is valuable information that could one day end up saving their lives. There is no downside to being prepared.” The club will be holding more events soon. To contact them and stay in touch, follow them on Facebook.