In the wake of Reagan Tokes’ tragic death, I know a lot of people in the community have been feeling hopeless. I have thought of her and her family every day since the story first broke. The chances of her being in the wrong place at the wrong time is haunting and agonizing. I did not have the privilege of knowing her, but feel so deeply for those who did.
What happened to her left me wondering how we can respond and take action. When I saw your article, “Reagan Tokes remembered with self-defense class’” (Feb. 15), I was glad to see tangible actions being taken. Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted, according to the Department of Justice. These violent encounters need to stop. Unfortunately, we still need to work on our responses to these heinous acts when they occur. Laurah Hallock’s commitment to spreading self-defense skills in our community was really inspiring to me.
The class that Ronin Training Center held was certainly a meaningful gesture. Giving 50 women lifesaving skills in self-defense was a story I was very grateful to read. However, there needs to be an ongoing effort to provide women with self-defense skills that will empower them.
As we mourn Reagan’s death, we must ask ourselves what more we can do to keep one another and ourselves safe. I plan on addressing next year’s USG president and vice president, whomever they may be, about their action plans regarding campus safety and sexual assault. I hope to continue to see stories in The Lantern that publicize opportunities such as Ronin Training Center’s free class, and continue to generate conversations about sexual assault, self-defense and safety.