Tuesday, September 23, 2008

SMU Pi Phi's anfd Sig Ep's Teach Self Defense

Pi Phi and Sig Ep unite to save women's lives
Kelsey Jukam, Senior Staff Writer
In 2002 a Kansas State University freshman named Ali Kemp was raped and murdered.

In her memory, and with the aim of saving the lives of others, her parents created The Ali Kemp Educational Foundation (TAKE). The foundation presents self-defense courses at campuses across the country, and on Wednesday, thanks to the collaboration of Sigma Phi Epsilon and Pi Beta Phi, the course will be offered to the women of SMU and the Dallas community at large.

The class will take place at the Highland Park United Methodist Church gym, located at the intersection of Normandy and Hillcrest, on Wednesday, Sept. 24, at 7:30 p.m. It is free and open to all women over the age of 12.

"This is a resource we believe is crucial to the Dallas community rather than for SMU only," sophomore Hampton Gray said. Gray is a member of Sig Ep and is helping to coordinate the event.Ali Kemp's father was a member of the Sig Ep fraternity and the TAKE foundation is one of Sig Ep's philanthropies.

Ali Kemp was a member of Pi Phi, which is one of the reason's Sig Ep approached the sorority to co-sponsor the event. Sig Ep and Pi Phi hosted the first TAKE self-defense program last January.

In addition to working with TAKE to get the program back this fall, Pi Phi has also been raising money for the organization with the Pi Phi Fiesta.Katie Reynolds, Pi Phi Vice President of Communications, says that "every woman" should take the self-defense course to be able to protect themselves if they are ever in a dangerous situation."

Since our whole Chapter has taken the class we can tell you first hand how great it is," Pi Phi Vice President of Philanthropy Ashlee Rivalto said.

Pi Phi and Sig Ep have also been relaying information provided by TAKE to showcase the importance of self-defense knowledge. This information includes statistics which show that one in four women will be sexually or physically assaulted in her lifetime and 20-25 percent of women will be sexually assaulted during their college career.

"Every woman and girl should be able to live their lives without fear by gaining the knowledge of how to protect themselves," Reynolds said.

Pi Phi and Sig Ep plan on making the TAKE self-defense class an annual event."We would love for this to happen every year as we believe that it is invaluable to those who choose to listen," Gray said. For more information about the TAKE self-defense program, visit www.takedefense.org