On Thursday, Oct. 23, the men of Pi Kappa Alpha participated in an international men’s march—Walk a Mile in Her Shoes—to raise awareness and work to stop sexual assault, rape and gender violence.

Fraternity members spent the day wearing high heels and held a booth in front of the Magic Stones with information about the event.

“One of the guys who works for our national fraternity actually introduced this idea to us last year,” said Frankie Arndt, president of Pi Kappa Alpha. “A lot of other university campuses have done it and it’s been a very successful event, so we looked into it and decided that we should try to do it at Trinity.”

The event challenges men—and women—to literally walk a mile in heels. However, members of Pi Kappa Alpha are using this year’s event on Trinity’s campus to first raise awareness about the issue of sexual assault.

“Our main goal was just to help raise awareness by getting people to talk about it, because it’s something that does happen,” said Greg Marifian, a senior. “We want to take a stand against sexual assault, and we had one hundred percent of our members here taking a stand.”

The organization encouraged other students, faculty and staff members to get involved as well, handing out stickers for others to wear and show support for the cause.

“A bunch of the guys approached a group of the SPURS about a week ago telling us that they were going to do the event,” said Lauren Goldberg, a senior. “We all thought it was a great thing and we wanted to support them as much as we could, so we all planned on participating.”

While it is impossible for a man to ever completely understand a woman’s experiences with sexual violence, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes aims to get people talking about the issue and actively working against it.

“This is our first year, but next year we hope to map out an actual mile across campus. This year is just for awareness, but next year we’ll probably turn it into a fundraiser so people can purchase tickets and participate in the event,” Arndt said.

Since the event was created in 2001, millions of dollars have been raised for rape crisis centers, shelters, prevention and education programs. At Trinity, members of Pi Kappa Alpha note that general responses to the event have been extremely positive.

“At first people were kind of questioning it because it is a little odd seeing grown men dressed in heels, but it got their attention and we were able to talk about it in classes and through the fliers we handed out at the table,” Marifian said.

Other students have seen immediate positive responses to the event as well.

“It’s been interesting because the Pikes have been bashed so much lately on social media,” Goldberg said. “But then today—seeing the responses of people—there are actually positive posts and people are supporting them. It’s really good to see a change.”

For more information on the international event, visit walkamileinhershoes.org.