This past Saturday, Sept. 28, the sisters of Alpha Chi Omega collaborated with S.A.F.E. Place, a local shelter for battered women and children in Battle Creek, to organize a walk against domestic violence. The “Walk a Mile in her Shoes” event took place in Lakeview Square Mall and consisted of a “Run for Shelter” 5K followed by the mile walk. The event was meant to spread awareness and raise funds for S.A.F.E. Place.
At 10 a.m., a mix of residents from Battle Creek and the surrounding cities, Albion College professors and Albion students pulled into Lakeview Mall raring to go. Many participating males slipped on some high heels and a handful went all out dressing totally in drag. Eric Hill, psychology professor, snagged fourth place in the 5K run for his age group.
“It seemed like a good opportunity to contribute, in some small way, to a really great cause. Believe it or not, that was the first time I’ve tried walking in high heel shoes. In a practical sense, it was both difficult and painful. In a broader sense, I thought the symbolism of the event was quite moving.”
Communications professor, Andy Boyan, also partook. “It was a fantastic event,” Boyan said. He also pointed out that being a supportive member of the community who will stand up and speak out to make a difference is one of the primary reasons behind his involvement. “As for the shoes, well, they pinched. They ached. They were not very comfortable. But it was all mental. It’s really not too far, especially in the context of the pain and suffering that victims of abuse suffer for a lifetime.”
“We wanted to not only help S.A.F.E. place raise funding but also spread awareness about domestic violence,” explained Dana Sorensen, Birmingham senior, and current president of Alpha Chi Omega Beta chapter. “Domestic violence isn’t something people usually talk about. By doing events like this it brings the issue out in the open and that is taking a large step to ending the cycle of domestic violence.”
Anna Bickerstaff, Grosse Pointe senior and philanthropy chair of Alpha Chi Omega, explained the event was advertised in newspapers and on local radio stations in Battle Creek. When asked how they could improve on the event in the future, she suggested promoting it more within the college community.
Photos by Anna Bickerstaff