Representative Mimi Walters (CA-45) will be hosting a free campus safety workshop for UCI students featuring safety tips, self-defense tactics taught by a martial arts expert and food and light refreshments at the UCI Bren Events Center on Oct. 12 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
As a mother of four children, three of whom are college students, Walters understands the importance of campus safety for all students and thus was led to host this workshop at UCI, the leading university in her congressional district.
“I know that it’s really important that we keep our college campuses safe, and I thought that this would be a great opportunity to have students come learn about making sure that they can stay safe on campus,” said Walters in a phone interview with The New University.
The highlight of the workshop will be a self-defense demonstration by Steve Ross, who practices the Korean martial art, Tang Soo Do, and owns martial arts studios in Irvine, Aliso Viejo and Costa Mesa. Ross is the highest ranking Certified Master Martial Arts Instructor of Tang Soo Do in Orange County and is an inductee of the 2010 United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame. He will teach students the appropriate safety techniques to practice in different scenarios.
Promoting campus safety and protecting victims is an important part of Walters’s national platform. While Walters is in the second year of her first term as representative of California’s 45th district, she has already introduced the Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act, which was passed by the House and Senate last week.
The bill, which is pending President Obama’s signature, provides rape victims with a variety of rights including preservation of the rape kit, notice before the rape kit is destroyed and the right for victims to know the outcome of forensic testing.
Walters was inspired to introduce the bill after speaking to a student at Harvard University who was sexually assaulted. The student brought attention to the fact that each state has different laws when it comes to rape kits, and hoped for uniform protection for all victims. If signed, the bipartisan bill will address victims of sexual assault on federal property and across state lines.
“Our goal is not to tell states what to do, but to make sure we have best practices and standards in place so we can be seen as a model from the federal perspective, and hopefully other states will adopt what our survivors’ bill of rights says,” said Walters.
While Walters has been to UCI several times, has lectured at a law class and knows much of the faculty, as well as students who have interned at her Irvine office, this will be her first workshop. She hopes to share this workshop idea with other congressional members, so they can hold workshops in their respective districts as well.
“Our goal is to make sure that we educate the students on how they can have best practices when it comes to self-defense, and have certain things to look at when you’re walking around campus,” said Walters. “I think it’s going to be a very important workshop and I think students will learn a lot from it.”