After a flat tire traumatised the sorority members of the Epsilon Beta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, they were surprised to find that only three of their fellow sisters had knowledge of the inner workings of automobile maintenance. At their next meeting the sorority began making plans for a community event to help teach women to be self-sufficient.
Education senior Sharolander Ellis, was one of the only three members who knew how to change a tire.
“It’s a good feeling when you can teach others things they might not have the courage to do,” Ellis said. “Since we’re college students there’s a lack of funding, especially in the first years you might not have a job. If you can do it yourself, why not do it? That’s money in your pocket.”
The focus of the event titled “Mission Impossible,” was to help women learn skills usually perceived as a “man’s job.” The event gave tips on how to change tires and oil, how to light a barbecue pit, the proper ways to apply makeup and a crash course in self-defense.
Fiesta Mart donated water and hot dogs for the grilling station and Macy’s donated makeup.
Psychology senior Amber Austin led the self-defense station. Austin is a first degree black belt who has been practicing karate for about six years. As a member of Voices Against Violence she recommends that women take the Rape Aggression Defense System, a program aimed at helping women learn basic defensive moves.
“The biggest safety tip I can give is to be aware of your surroundings,” Austin said. “[The Rape Aggression Defense System] is a resource on campus I don’t think women utilize.”
Austin said women should be able to take care of themselves without having to call a man.
“Typically a woman calls a man when she needs to change a tire,” Austin said. “Typically a woman calls a man when she feels threatened.”
In an attempt to serve the community, Epsilon Beta is considering hosting further, similar events.
Psychology senior Keara Foster said she learned how to change the oil in her car and valuable information in self-defense.
“All the things they’re doing, I need to know how to do,” Foster said. “I learned a lot. The self-defense was really helpful, especially learning how to get out of situations where the opponent might be stronger than you.”