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Walking A Mile In Her Shoes

Adelphi University frat promotes gender equality

The Elimination of Prejudice: that is the national philanthropy of Pi Lambda Phi. In honor of this ideology, the Adelphi University chapter of Pi Lambda Phi organized the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event. On April 29 from 3 to 7 p.m., the brothers of the fraternity walked around in heels to increase gender equality and raise awareness about gender-related issues like domestic and sexual violence.Fellow students were asked to donate one dollar, which was donated to the Suffolk Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Elimination of Prejudice. For every dollar raised, the brothers had to walk a lap in high heels. As an added bonus, since proceeds exceeded expectations, some of the highest fundraisers also wore dresses.

“The idea began two semesters ago when an intern from the coalition came to me with the idea,” said Phi Lambda Phi brother Jazz Singh. “We were more then happy to run with the idea and the event went better then we thought.”

The coalition operates under the slogan, “Safety. Supportive Services. Prevention.” As an organization, they provide shelter, advocacy, counseling, education and a 23-hour hotline for those in need of help from domestic violence. According to their company’s representative for the event, Vanessa Formosa, this was one of the first events of its kind for their organization.

“We could not be happier to do the event,” said Formosa. “This is a great event to break down the walls that exist between people.”

This was not the first event that the fraternity put on to promote their philanthropy against prejudice. Other events that the fraternity has been a part of include “Knocking out Prejudice,” where a brother would dress up as a hockey goalie and have pucks labeled with bigoted remarks shot at them. During this current event, those who made donations were also asked to finish the sentence “A Real Man Is....” This helped to bring the theme of equality between all genders and races.

“We believe in philanthropy and want to live through it,” said the president of the fraternity, Matthew Layton. “A little public embarrassment to prove a point doesn’t bother us.”

Although, the public embarrassment might not have bothered the brothers, some were feeling the pain from the heels. “My feet already hurt,” said brother Michael LaSalle. “I can’t imagine how girls wear this. It makes me thankful for sweatpants and jeans.”

By the beginning of the event, the brothers had already raised close to $300 and hoped to go over the $500 plateau by the end of the day. Despite these great achievements in fundraising, the brothers also wanted to prove something else. “We want to break stereotypes about Greek life,” said Singh. “Many consider fraternity men to be misogynistic but we’re all about social awareness and change.”

Although the event was geared towards gender equality, Formosa reminded everyone that domestic violence affects everyone and it doesn’t discriminate. “Unhealthy relationships are not love,” she said.

For more information on the Suffolk County Coalition Against Domestic Violence, call their main office at 631-233-3626 or visit www.sccadv.org.