Ways To Stay Safe At CSULB

WORDS BY: AMANDA MAYBERRY
PHOTOS BY: TERRAH STARLING

Disaster can strike at any given moment, and we can find ourselves completely unprepared. As we go about our daily routines, we never expect that the worst might happen.

As students, school becomes our second home, and we feel just as safe and secure on campus as we do in any other familiar place.

We always expect to be safe and sometimes take that comfort for granted. Although Cal State Long Beach can be described as a safe campus, it is not without its petty mishaps.

As unlikely as it may seem that anything bad can happen, the unexpected cannot be neglected.

Take a few necessary precautions to ensure your safety at all times, whether it be on or off campus.

Students can take free self­-defense classes provided at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, located on lower campus. The university police also offer self­-defense training.

Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) is offered for two weeks each semester. A class for women, these lessons focus on self­-defense tactics and techniques, according to the CSULB Police website.

Classes offered include Muay Thai, Boxing 101, Tactical Martial Arts and Open Bag. Anthony Gonzalez, junior business major, has been teaching Boxing at the SRWC on campus for two years.

Gonzalez teaches basic self­-defense, such as how to block a punch and how to throw a punch, emphasizing the importance of correct form and endurance.

“The most important thing is confidence,” Gonzalez said. “It’s always good to be able to hit someone and be confident about it. You need to suppress that sympathy you have for a person and just be able to hit them. You want to be able to put them out, to protect yourself.”

Amidst numerous reported sexual assaults at CSULB and various other small incidents around campus, now is as good a time as ever to learn how to throw a punch. Though avoiding sticky situations in general is ideal, if one should ever arise, it’s better safe than sorry!

Learning boxing and various other forms of self ­defense is important not only for safety, but it is also a fun way to get into shape while learning how to kick some butt.

“I like to emphasize the fitness aspect, as well,” Gonzalez said. “You can’t fight if you don’t have endurance.”

Muay thai, boxing and martial arts at the Rec are all fee-based but well worth the cause.

Perhaps you find yourself on campus late at night studying for a test or working on a project, and you’re afraid to walk across campus alone to your car or the bus stop. Community service officers (CSO) and escorts are available to transport students from various destinations throughout campus.

According to one CSO, officers will walk students or drive students wherever they need to go. Officers will wait to ensure the safety of students as they arrive to their destination.

Malika Rahim spends many late hours in the library finishing up papers for classes. However, she says she doesn’t feel the need to call the escorts.

“CSULB is an open campus, so there’s a lot of people coming on and off campus,” Rahim said. “Something bad can always happen, but I only walk from the library across the street to the bus stop. I don’t need an escort.”

However, some of us do like to play it safe, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Better safe than sorry, right?

If you should find yourself on campus in the late-night hours, try to avoid darker areas of campus. Stay in the parts of campus with higher traffic. Campus and Beach drives are two very illuminated, safe areas to walk through at night.

Another idea I have is to maybe highlight the safest routes to take while on campus at night. Some places are more illuminated than others, and that kind of information is vital to some.

Our most important tip: Always be aware of your surroundings. Keep a sharp eye on anyone who may be behind you. Don’t trust any strangers. Don’t walk with headphones on through campus alone.

So get safe, CSULB!