Paired with a flashy set of red high heels, the students of Greek Life walked a mile both spectators and participants would remember.
The Interfraternity Council (IFC) hosted the “Walk a Mile in Their Shoes” event, which was similar to the international men’s march “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,” April 4 at 5:30 p.m. Students paid 10 dollars a person to participate. All proceeds from the event benefit the Children and Family Center of Northwest Missouri. The goal for those who joined the walk was to wear women’s high heels for a mile around campus in hopes of raising awareness for and help prevent domestic violence. There were 45 students who participated in the walk.
Victim advocate and staff member of Children and Family Center Meghann Kosman spoke to everyone who attended before the walk began.
“You’re walking on behalf of someone who has been told since childhood that they’re worthless and that they’ll never amount to anything,” Kosman said in her speech. “You guys are walking on behalf of someone who has been beaten up by their partner. A partner is someone that we’re supposed to be able to trust and to love, and when you’re in a domestic violence situation, all that is a complete betrayal because it’s abusive.”
Kosman continued her passionate speech, addressing the many who have been or are in domestic violence relationships with each sentence beginning with the same phrase.
“You guys are walking on behalf of all of those things and the countless and the faceless stories that I haven’t mentioned,” Kosman said. “This walk was never meant to be walked alone by anybody. Imagine what walking in a crowd can do, and what kind of message that sends.”
The continual help and support from Greek Life for victims of domestic violence is a huge step towards educating people and raising more awareness.
Vice President of Philanthropy of IFC Joe Suchan said he thinks this event helps show support, not only as an organization, but as a community.
“I think this event particularly can show the impact in our own community since it’s going towards a local Children and Family Center,” Suchan said.
This year, the route changed so the participants had to walk through the Student Union.
“We decided to go through the Union this year, just so we could show it off to more people,” Suchan said. “The Chick-Fil-A people kind of gave us a ‘what’s going on?’ but it’s nice to kind of show it off and raise awareness. Kind of get people interested, saying, ‘what are all these guys wearing heels about?’”
Assistant Director of Greek Life Megan DeShon-Runge said that the red high heels could go beyond being just the logo of the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” movement.
“I feel like red is such a powerful color, and when you think of red high heels, I feel like it means something different to everybody,” DeShon-Runge said. “Seeing a group of guys in red high heels, you’re going to go, ‘why are they doing that?’ Awareness, that’s a great conversation starter. Just the red high heels themselves.”
DeShon-Runge loved that so many Greek chapters participated in this event too.
Kosman believes that a great way to spread more awareness is to get on social media.
“People go to social media for news,” Kosman said. “They go to it to find information, and that also reaches people the best. So I definitely think social media and posting things to raise that awareness really promotes education about the issues of domestic violence.”