We have all heard the old saying “you can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes,” but how many people have actually strapped on a woman’s high heels to see what it is like?
Alpha Chi Omega did just this with their annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” campaign Jan. 30.
Alpha Chi Omega supports domestic violence awareness through many means. With “Walk a Mile,” campus organizations were encouraged to march a mile to raise awareness in the school community about the serious causes, effects and remediation of domestic violence against both men and women.
Although the event suffered due to rain, it was relocated to the Hollis Room where the men strutted their stuff on a makeshift runway instead.
Participants included most of Greek life and a few other organizations, each with a male representative working a pair of heels like nobody’s business. The winning team was Pi Kappa Phi’s Keith Young, who blew the judge away with his sassy turns and strut.
“It was a great way to raise awareness about domestic violence in a humor-filled way,” Alpha Chi Omega member Shelby Booth said. “We had a great turnout. I was glad to be a part of something so much larger than myself.”
After the contest was over, Alpha Chi explained the importance of their cause. Sophomore Nichol Kerkhoff hosted an activity called “walk the line” where she stated questions and contestants stepped over the line if the statement applied to them.
Some of these questions were “Do you know what domestic violence is?” and “Do you know anyone affected by domestic violence?”
Many of the contestants crossed the line for both questions.
Taylor Hyde, the sorority’s philanthropy chairperson, organized a raffle supporting Peace River Center. A local shelter for victims of domestic violence and their families, Alpha Chi has supported Peace River by donating supplies during past years’ events.
The “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” website states that the now-international campaign was created in 2001. Although it started out as just a few men skittering around a park in heels, it has since blown into a worldwide movement with tens of thousands of men raising millions of dollars for local rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters and prevention programs.
According to the Alpha Chi Omega website, domestic violence is defined as a pattern of behavior in a relationship that involves the abuse by one partner onto the other.
Alpha Chi Omega also supports this cause through their annual “Omega Man” contest which occured on Feb. 10-14.