ASWSU hosts student safety workshops

Barb Jordan teaches students to be aware of their surroundings, identify potential threats.



The main focus of the classes were meant to be safety and situation awareness.

JOSIAH PIKE, Evergreen news co-editor

ASWSU and Barb Jordan, founder of Always Bev, hosted multiple student safety workshops last week.

The workshops were spread apart across two different days. On the first day, Feb. 22they were held in the Compton Union Building junior ballroom and in the Chinook on the second, Feb. 23. 

As a victim of predatory violence, Barb channeled her experience and knowledge gained through years of athletics and coaching into studying the skills of vigilance within situational awareness and how to predict unwanted behavior,” according to WSU Presence.

Jordan was the instructor of the classes. She said the main focus of the classes was meant to be safety and situation awareness.

“The main focus is awareness. Awareness and skills to stay safe,” Jordan said. “How you get gas safely, walking through a parking lot, what are the keys when you do rideshare?”

Jordan said the classes were held on both Feb. 22 and Feb. 23. She first founded Always Bev in 2018 after her sister’s killer was released from prison on parole. Similarly to the classes, Always Bev’s main focus in teaching has been identifying different types of threats in situations some might not recognize them in.

“There’s different types of predators,” Jordan said. “Always Bev is about identifying people that aren’t scary looking. Very rarely violence has come out of nowhere, there’s usually a warning sign.”

Jordan said the idea of the classes was to help people learn how to identify ways to make themselves safer in public settings, such as at a gas station or parking lot.

Some of the things students are taught to be aware of in their surroundings are that their doors are locked when exiting their car and they’re aware of the people around them.

The process of teaching these classes at WSU began when Jordan first spoke to the executive director of the Lauren McCluskey Foundation on her podcast, she said.

“When I had heard that the suspect for the Idaho murders went to Washington State, I immediately thought of Lauren McCluskey,” she said. “Right away I felt so sick for them.”

Jordan said attendance for the classes was smaller than she anticipated in the aftermath of the UI murders. However, she believes for those who have attended, the murders, as well as stories related to violence in the news in general, have been a factor in their decision to attend.

“The ones that have come have absolutely been empowered,” she said. “When they leave the class, learning that awareness is the key and learning a few self-defense techniques, the students that attended got a lot out of it.”

Among the attendees was WSU Police Chief Gary Jenkins, who observed the student safety classes. Jenkins said he attended most of them, but they all focused on the same things. 

“It was really about safety and awareness,” Jenkins said. “The presentation itself was about an hour and there was about a half hour where people from UREC came over and taught self-defense training.”


Jenkins said he wrote a testimonial on the classes after attending, which is currently on the website. The letter is currently on the Always Bev website.

“She made a real connection with her audience and that the information she provides is empowering them and giving them the tools to help protect themselves,” Jenkins said.

The most useful thing about the classes was how they served as a reminder to not take anything for granted when trying to maintain your personal and situational awareness, Jenkins said.

“She brought out a lot of common sense things that may be obvious to some people but not to others,” he said. “I think particularly after the deaths in Moscow, there is a real concern about personal safety.”

Jordan said the skills taught in the class are important to learn with all the stories of violence in the world so that everyone knows how to stay safe and maintain good situational awareness.

“I think it’s so important in today’s world that everyone gets educated on safety and learns about safety,” she said.