The University of St. Thomas Police Department is offering a free, three-day Rape Aggression Defense training course to students, faculty and staff on Sept. 11, 18 and 25.
Although the event has been planned for months, it takes place just weeks after a suspicious man was arrested for following two UST students to Clare Hall one evening and fighting with the UST officers who responded to the incident.
Enrollment for the course is full, according to UST Chief of Police H.E. Jenkins, but the department plans to offer RAD training again because of overwhelming student interest.
Training is broken up into three separate days, and each day will cover different topics such as self-defense tactics, educational support and physical strategies.
Jenkins said the course is not designed to teach complex maneuvers but rather small techniques students can use to defend themselves.
Jenkins said UST students arrive on campus from across the country and state with differing levels of safety awareness.
“Houston is a very different environment if you haven’t been around in this area very long,” he said.
UST’s police department offers a variety of educational events throughout the year, Jenkins said. Safety week, which is held one week per semester, discusses different topics each day with students to better prepare them for a variety of dangerous situations they may encounter. The recently held Cops and Donuts morning, meanwhile, is more of a public relations event to introduce students to UST’s police department, he said, while an active shooter scenario drill is scheduled for the spring semester.
Jenkins said the department started planning the RAD event about six months ago. “We started out just talking about a self-defense class, and [UST Sgt. Reginald] Officer Rainey approached me about RAD.”
Jenkins said students, faculty and staff who are interested in attending future RAD sessions should pay attention to school emails and the UST app for news about a spring session. The UST Police Department will also be posting future events on its Twitter page and Instagram feed.
A previous version of this article had the wrong dates listed for the course. The Independent apologizes for this error.