This is the same student body who reliably gets drunk and wrecks the campus after every winning football game, so I take the issue to be a more serious question than I normally accept gun control arguments to be. This is a group of people who are technically adults, but who are permitted to behave a little less like adults than their cohorts who do not have 'college life' as an excuse. I think we should extend the full rights due to adults to those who prove they will resist that temptation and behave like adults, but the institutions have too long permitted tomfoolery for us to simply assume that everyone will be grown up from now on. Some mechanism needs to be in place to ensure that students who want to bear arms on campus are living up to their responsibilities as adults.
So I'm willing to accept that these students ought to prove themselves to be adults before given the full rights of adults. Nevertheless, the college's actual advice to female students is highly insulting.
1. Be realistic about your ability to protect yourself.Of these all, number seven is the most insulting. Imagine telling a young man of college age, "If someone should attack you, pee on yourself." This is great advice for a puppy who wants to demonstrate submission to an older dog. To a human being, it amounts to "Be prepared to degrade yourself if anyone should attack you."
2. Your instinct may be to scream, go ahead! It may startle your attacker and give you an opportunity to run away.
3. Kick off your shoes if you have time and can’t run in them.
4. Don’t take time to look back; just get away.
5. If your life is in danger, passive resistance may be your best defense.
6. Tell your attacker that you have a disease or are menstruating.
7. Vomiting or urinating may also convince the attacker to leave you alone.
8. Yelling, hitting or biting may give you a chance to escape, do it!
9. Understand that some actions on your part might lead to more harm.
10. Remember, every emergency situation is different. Only you can decide which action is most appropriate.
Most of the rest of the advice amounts to thinking of yourself as a victim, or a prey animal.
Not everyone has it in them to kill their attacker, and that far at least point one is correct. You should look in your heart and decide if you would rather kill, or rather suffer at the mercy of a violent and wicked man. If you would in truth rather suffer, because your moral aversion to violence is so strong, this is a respectable position occupied by Quakers and other religious orders. In this case you are not a victim. You are choosing to accept the suffering that the world sends you for moral reasons of your own. That is honorable, in its way: it is courageous, in its way.
For others, there are other choices. One is to choose companions you trust, on whom you know you can rely. This is the idea, often discussed here at the Hall, of a frith bond: a bond of mutual loyalty, based on an Old English word related to our words "friend" and "free." It is a society of friendship, and it makes you freer than you would be alone. You can travel together in far greater safety, and if attacked, you can help defend each other.
You can learn to fight, and keep yourself ready to do so.
If you are right for it, you can carry arms. A firearm is not the only choice, although it makes particular sense for young women who may be physically weaker than the young men who are most likely to be violent criminals. Learn to use it safely and accurately, and keep it always handy. ("Go not one step out on the road without your weapons of war, for you never know when you may need them." Havamal.)
Under no circumstances degrade yourself. To do so is to invite, rather than to repel, the scornful treatment of the world. To be the sort of person who is prepared to degrade herself to avoid even a serious harm is to be the kind of person the world will not respect. Remember always: Death before dishonor.