“Angels in Defense” teaches students to protect themselves

by Olivia Collins, Contributor

Simpson College’s Pi Beta Phi sponsored “Angels in Defense”, a self-defense class workshop with a member of the Polk County Sheriff’s Department at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 28 in Hubbell Hall.

The class was chosen as this semester’s risk management event by Marisa DeForest, a senior and vice president of administration for Pi Beta Phi.

“Each year we try to address an issue we feel is either important for our specific chapter or the world as a whole,” she said.

DeForest said the idea for the event came to them easily, especially with the recent murders of Mollie Tibbetts and Celia Barquin Arozamena.

The main goal of the event was to promote situational awareness, teach women what they can do to protect themselves and give them the confidence to act on that knowledge.

There were two other self-defense classes hosted by the exercise science club earlier in November, which DeForest attended.

“I don’t think there can be too many,” she said.

The event was attended by about 25 students. One attendant, Cheyenne Wiederholt, a junior biology and pre-nursing major, attended in hopes that she would learn skills to make her feel safer.

She stated that the event  was “…a way to get involved in the community and protect ourselves in various different ways.”

The instructor for the class was Polk County Lt. Keith Romp. He says self-defense has always interested him, a passion that started with the ninja movies he watched when he was younger.

Romp has been teaching these classes for women and children for 30 years.

“I hate to see people get victimized but you can’t always be there for people so to see them protecting themselves is huge,” he said.

His main objective when teaching these classes is that he hopes to one day come to crime scenes and “…take care of arresting the bad guy, to put them where they need to be, and the victim is healthy and goes on with their life.”

Some tips Romp shared in the class were to always keep pens and flashlights at hand as self-defense weapons, as the usual tactics that come to mind like pepper spray and kicking attackers in the groin are not as effective as many people think.

His best piece of advice for the class was to use their heads in any dangerous situation.