Walk a Mile in Her Shoes returns for fourth year

Matt Silva

UW Oshkosh is hosting the 4th annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes in the Reeve Memorial Union Ballroom on Wednesday, May 4 to take a stand against sexual violence. The UWO Women’s Center is coordinating the event, which aims to increase awareness of gender violence among everyone. The Women’s Center Interim Director, Sommer Hodson, said it is important to not be passive about this subject. “Not being a rapist isn’t good enough,” Hodson said. “If there is one case of gender violence in any given university, that is too high of a number already.” Participants are encouraged, but not required, to wear heels and carry posters on the walk. According to Hodson, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is a growing international event. “Our goal is to reach 400 participants,” Hodson said. “We are also looking to increase the involvement of the community in this year’s event.” The event will start in Reeve Memorial Union. The participants will then walk down Elmwood Avenue, eventually coming back through Algoma Boulevard and finishing the walk back at Reeve Memorial Union. Hodson said there will be prizes for some of those who participate in the event. The person who wears the highest heels, the individual who raises the most money, the group that raises the most money and the group with the largest attendance will be rewarded. UWO Sophomore Artina Vite said sexual violence is present in today’s society and is a problem for many families and friends. She said the most important thing people can do is to draw more attention to it. “Not a lot of people acknowledge gender violence,” Vite said. “Men walking in heels can be a very powerful statement. It can draw attention to this problem.” Sergeant Donovan Heavener said the University Police contributes to the event and their goal is to increase awareness about sexual harassment and what students can do about it. “We will have a table set up in the Reeve Ballroom, with [Community Service Officers] and an officer to answer any question students may have,” Heavener said. “Also, we will be talking about our safe walk program.” Heavener said they never had any problems during this event and officers may walk the mile with the participants. “We need to recognize this problem is out there,” Heavener said. “We must put an end to it.”