TKE walks a mile in heels against sexual violence
Essence Boyd—Copy Editor & Izzy Manzo—Copy Editor
With their heads held high and their heels higher, the men of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity strutted across the pedestrian walkway from the Academic Quad and back in support of putting an end to sexual violence.
TKE hosted their third Walk a Mile in Her Shoes outside of Hilton C. Buley library as a pre-rally event for the 22nd annual Take Back the Night.
“The pre-rally is held to create awareness about sexual violence and the prevention work that happens on our campus and what we need in our culture,” said Violence Prevention, Victim Advocacy and Support Center Director Catherine Christy.
Men were not only encouraged to join in the march, but to also wear women’s shoes.
“The point is for men to take a minute and walk a mile in her shoes,” said junior social work major and VPAS student worker Amanda Valentin. “To see where sexual violence and the things women experience to kind of put themselves in their [a women’s] perspective.”
Members of TKE supporters chanted, “One, two, three, four, sexual assault has got to go!” and, “No means no!” as they marched across campus, gaining more and more participants along the way.
International business major Joshua Franklin, and social media and programs chair of TKE said they put on the event with the help of VPAS.
“We care,” said Franklin. “We’re more than just a fraternity of men. We are here for women as well.”
Marketing major Billy Lobdell, a senior, said part of the reason TKE participates in Walk a Mile is also because of the negative stigma fraternities face surrounding sexual assault. While members of the fraternity may not be victims themselves, he said that TKE still stands in solidarity with women who have experienced sexual violence.
“We try to be allies to the victims,” Lobdell said. “We know it’s a real problem. I’ve never personally witnessed any of this stuff, but I know brothers who have been allies in the past.”
Lobdell said while some members of the fraternity could not attend this year, TKE plans on turning Walk a Mile into an annual event.
Franklin said he envisions Walk a Mile becoming a larger event that involves other Greek life organizations, as well as the members of TKE.
“Next year I hope for a bigger turn out. Not just people in TKE but other Greek life, organizations and people around campus,” said Franklin. “Just make it a more wide spread thing, and maybe next year having it in the green in New Haven.”
Physics and engineering major Bryce Gentino, and secretary for TKE said he hopes that Walk a Mile will continue to grow.
“This is a consistent problem in our society, so I believe that this will continue to grow support,” he said. “And this may not be a one-day event at some point, but it may grow into a full week of events.”
Photo Credit: Izzy Manzo