Campus Life

Fraternity Brothers Wear Heels to Raise Awareness of Sexual Assault

To raise awareness of sexual assault in Greek life, fraternity members stomped and stumbled their way through a mile-long walk in high heels and women’s shoes on April 12 during the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event.

The Interfraternity Council hosted the event as part of a national Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event. UCA fraternities have been participating in the walk since 2012.

According to the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes national website, the goal of the organization is to get a community to talk about sexual assault issues through a fun, but difficult, activity. The fraternities collected donations and raised money through T-shirt sales, giving a total of $400 to Haven House in Conway, which is a group home for young women who have suffered from abuse or neglect.

“We believe that fraternity men can be the fire starter in changing how this issue is perceived,” junior IFC President Drew Himstedt said. “I know in years past there’s always been instances of sexual assault on campus both by fraternity men and non-fraternity men, but I think it is a major issue across all college campuses. I think at UCA we have a great mix of students who are willing to initiate and help that change.”

Himstedt said each IFC fraternity chapter has its own rules and values that promote respect toward women. He said it’s up to the fraternity to determine outcomes when an assault does occur.

“I think fraternity men tend not to be bystanders when something like this happens,” Himstedt said.

Fraternity men clobbered around campus in heels during X-Period, starting at the Student Center Amphitheater
and heading toward Donaghey Avenue, amid whistling and car honks.

“One bad apple doesn’t ruin the bunch. We’re out here showing that we’re here to help whoever … and we want to raise awareness in every way possible,” freshman Phi Gamma Delta fraternity member Lamon Wade said.

The fraternity members tried on different styles and sizes of heels before finding their perfect fit. Women’s and men’s shoes differ in size by 1.5 inches. A women’s size 9 is a men’s size7.5.

Freshman Sigma Nu fraternity member Spencer Casavechia walked in a pair of blue heels.

“It’s definitely different. I feel very out of place, and it puts things into perspective,” Casavechia said.

Himstedt said more people need to talk about sexual assault prevention.

“I know it is a tough issue for most people to talk about, just because it can obviously bring physical or emotional pain to someone who may have suffered from it,” Himstedt said. “But I think talking about [it]is the biggest way to help prevent sexual assault.”

Photo by Caroline Bivens.

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