(image credit: Nick Klotz)

For the past seven years, SNHU has offered Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) classes to SNHU students.

This year, SNHU has “been fortunate enough to work with the Hooksett Police Department and their team of instructors,” according to Aaron Schmelzer, Public Safety Supervisor as well as R.A.D. instructor.

Schmelzer has been a R.A.D. instructor at SNHU for the past three years. He currently works with Kevin Lee and Shahanna Snyder, two other Public Safety Officers, along with Hooksett Police to teach classes.

SNHU offers the course free of charge, and there are no prerequisites needed in order to attend classes.  At least three classes are held throughout the year.

“The class is a four-week course. Three hours each night for a total of 12 classroom hours. Participants are encouraged to attend all four classes as each class builds on the next,” said Schmelzer.

Classes this semester began on February 28, and run every Wednesday, with no class held during spring break, until March 28.

“We mainly offer this to SNHU students, staff and faculty. But anyone affiliated with SNHU may attend. For instance, if a student and her sister (non-student) want to attend we would allow the non-student to take the class as well because of her sister’s association with SNHU,” said Schmelzer.

“Being a higher educational institution, we believe that all education is important. Especially educating yourself in awareness of your surroundings (on and off campus) and self-defense if you are ever in a situation where it is required,” said Schmelzer.

The importance of having the knowledge these classes provide cannot be stressed by instructors enough. People are often looking at their phones instead of being aware of their surroundings.

“As an instructor, I believe that this class is highly valuable for anyone that is willing to participate. The class not only teaches you self-defense, but it educates you about being self-aware. There are many times where I will see students walking with their heads down focusing on their phone instead of paying attention to the world around them. The lack of awareness in a situation is a huge component because if you are not prepared for a situation, your reaction to the incident will be less than ideal,” said Schmelzer.

“Self-defense education is just as important as any other class. You are preparing yourself for a situation that may occur and the more knowledge you have about it, the better you will be able to react,” said Schmelzer. “I have personally seen several transformations during the classes that I have taught. The self-empowerment and confidence that builds in a short time is incredible.”

R.A.D. has a policy that allows participants to take the class free of charge as many times as they would like after participating the first time.

“So if you take the class with us and move to Florida years later, you can take the class free of charge in Florida as long as you have your signed manual from a R.A.D. Instructor,” said Schmelzer.

For more information about the program at SNHU, please contact Public Safety at (603) 645-9700 or for more general information, visit http://www.rad-systems.com.

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