UAlbany students take self defense class in light of recent incidents

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Updated: 2/19 10:59 pm

ALBANY, N.Y. – Young adults walking around campus at night can be frightening, and some of those students took advantage of a lesson Wednesday night which could keep them safe.

A little more than a week ago, 19 year old Derek Engleman was arrested in connection to a female student waking up in her dorm room to find a strange man engaged in a lewd act. In another case, late last year, 54-year-old Anthony Collins attempted to abduct two UAlbany students in two separate incidents.

Students, faculty, and the UAlbany Police are not taking any chances and they want to be prepared if something goes wrong.

Some students arrived to class on Wednesday night, not the typical first choice for a college student, but it could be a life saver.

"I find it scary that so many things keep happening downtown and even here locally, which is why I decided to take some of my residents here today," said UAlbany junior Symone Reid.

Scared by recent criminal acts on the campus of UAlbany, Reid brought 10 of her friends to a RAD class to learn how to protect themselves.

"People can easily just hide out anywhere, so walking by yourself is really dangerous," she said.

Reid is no stranger to walking alone late at night, and the fear that comes with it.

"I leave the library around one in the morning usually, sometimes, especially around finals, when I have exams," said Reid.

Even though she's on campus, fear is still at the forefront for her mind.

"And I always have to keep looking around, looking around, because it's so scary because of the fact that it's dark," the junior said.

On Wednesday night, Rape Aggression and Defense workers and the UAlbany Police teamed up to give students advice to stay safe, among that advice, was to not be afraid to yell out for help.

Students were also told travel in groups, carry a cell phone, trust their instincts, and call police even if they just think something is out of the ordinary.

There are more than 600 emergency boxes on UAlbany's Campus. They are identified by a blue light and all have a phone that connects directly to police, even when the power is out. That way, you're never really alone.  

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