“Walk A Mile In Her Shoes” Opens Dialogue About Sexual Violence

Kelsey Soderberg

Last Saturday marked the first annual Walk A Mile In Her Shoes event on Colgate’s campus, a national program that has gained popularity at other colleges around the country. As one of the many programs held during Greek Week, the event attempted to raise awareness for sexual assault on Colgate’s campus by having students wear high heels as they walked a mile around the Sanford Field House track. 

As they literally walk a mile in her shoes, all students are educated about the statistics and effects of sexual assault, especially about its prevalence on Colgate’s campus. According to the event’s co-directors, sophomores Jessie Sullivan and Zoe Zissu, Colgate has twice the national average of sexual violence in every category tracked by colleges.

“We really wanted to open a dialogue about sexual assault and show that it happens on Colgate’s campus,” Sullivan said. “Our campus is definitely very safe, but sexual violence does exist.”

Along with an educational experience, the event was a chance for students to bond over a fun morning that included bright red high heels for the guys and lots of pictures being taken by the women.

“We just wanted to do a fun event for students but also raise awareness for sexual assault,” Zissu said.

The decision to include this event during Greek Week was the result of major planning by the Greek Week Committee, as well as a conscious choice by Colgate students to show their support for victims of sexual violence.

“We wanted to show that Greek life is fighting the standard of sexual assault and trying to raise awareness about it,” Sullivan said. “So by having men and women stand together in high heels and walk a mile in her shoes, we’re saying that we stand together as a community. So if someone is sexually assaulted, the entire community is going to help [the student] be a survivor.”

Along with Walk A Mile In Her Shoes, several other events took place during Greek Week. A kickoff party was held on Thursday in Donovan’s Pub where professors came down for a happy hour with students. Friday continued with an “afternoon of service” in which over 100 Greek students volunteered at different sites around thelocal community.

Unlike the other events, Saturday’s walk was open to all students on campus, allowing for unaffiliated students to participate in the fight against sexual assault as well. Sunday’s festivities included a closing ceremony as well as the Greek Life Awards.

Contact Kelsey Soderberg at [email protected]