Low turnout for Walk a Mile in Their Shoes

An array of heels line the table as they remained untouched during the Walk a Mile in Their Shoes Tuesday evening.

Madison MacArthur

High heels size 12 and higher were available on Risman Plaza for Walk a Mile in Their Shoes Tuesday, but many remained untouched.

While working toward creating a united front to end sexualized violence by walking a mile in another person’s shoes, the event had a low turnout of men and women.

Director of the Student Multicultural Center Talea Drummer-Ferrell served as the key speaker, giving statistics of sexual violence and calling for action.

“We are out here for big reasons and big purposes … We have to make sure that as we’re walking, small but mighty, that we are group that says we are a united campus.” Drummer-Ferrell said. “That sexual assault, power-based violence and relationship violence will not happen on this campus … We’re going to be educated, we’re gonna celebrate this walk today.”

Meghan Lee hosted the event and is a graduate assistant with the Office of Sexual and Relationship Violence Support Services (SRVSS).

“We have so many students out there that want to be allies, or whether or not they are here for themselves …,” Lee said. “It shows everyone else here that we do have a community of support here at Kent State for sexual assault survivors.”

Director of SRVSS Jennifer O’Connell agreed.

“We’re all in this together as a community, there’s a role for all of us to play in preventing this type of violence,” O’Connell said. “It’s not just an issue that affects any one population, it’s an issue that affects our whole community.”

Along with the few women who walked, only two men participated in the walk: Sven Rundman and Aaron Brown.

Brown, an intern with SRVSS, keeps himself involved with their programs.

“People probably assume I’m here because I have to be here, since I’m an intern, but I’m here because I think this is something that people should be more aware of,” Brown said. “Especially men because there is a lot of sexualized violence from men towards women. Having men support this issue could really make an impact.”

Rundman also serves as the project coordinator for SRVSS, coordinates Green Dot and has a new understanding after his walk.

“I support that you should actually walk in somebody else’s shoes to get an idea of what they might experience and the daily things (women) might have experience, like walking in those heels,” Rundman said. “My toes are literally numb and I literally just walked for maybe 10 minutes. Imagine walking a whole lifetime in heels, I had no idea what that could have been like.”

While there was a small group there, Lee hopes to see more involvement from other organizations on the issue.

“Even through the other academic departments or offices, even student organizations, their goal every single day might not be to raise awareness for sexual violence, we do hope that for events like this we can start to come together,” Lee said.

Madison MacArthur is the diversity reporter. Contact her at [email protected].