Penn State men trade sneakers for pumps to stamp out sexual assault

What’s funnier than a group of grown men walking around Penn State in women’s high heels?

On Thursday afternoon, about 70 male Penn State students donned pumps for the Walk A Mile in Her Shoes march along Pollock Road to raise awareness about the Men Against Violence student organization during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Dylan Howser, co-adviser for the Men Against Violence organization on campus, said this is the third year for the student-run event, and the group plans to hold it well into the future.

“Some men don’t live up to the idea of patriarchy,” Howser said. “Others do, and it literally puts men in the shoes of women and brings in an extra voice. It’s a fun opportunity for men to show their support for women, and raise awareness about violence and sexual assault.

“It gives men a chance to experience something they probably wouldn’t in another situation,” he added.

The event was part of a larger nationwide event that is celebrated throughout the year. And Le Dame Footwear donated some shoes to men who needed a pair.

For Chris Vince, a junior at Penn State and Phi Gamma Delta fraternity member, this is his third year partaking in the walk. He said acting as a role model with his peers is something he hopes will shed light on a serious problem.

“There are students who come from all walks of life, and this can only encourage people that there are others there for them, and that violence and sexual assault is not OK,” Vince said.

“Sexual assault is also a men’s issue, and we hope this message never falls by the wayside,” added junior and Dan Strivelli, who also walked in his third event.

Tanner Fitzgerald, president of Men Against Violence, said the walk puts a positive spin on an otherwise negative subject.

“It’s something we’re passionate about and shows that there is hope to help bring violence to an end,” Fitzgerald said.

The walk was organized by Men Against Violence, but men from numerous other organizations participated.