USF Men Don High Heels for a Good Cause

USF male student wears high heels during Walk A Mile In Her Shoes event
Sign at Walk A Mile In Her Shoes event
TAMPA (2011-10-13) -

A few hundred USF students donned high heels to walk around the Tampa campus Thursday. But what made this unusual was that it was MEN wearing the high heels.

It was part of the fourth annual "Walk A Mile In Her Shoes" event, which asks men to do what they can to stop sexual and relationship violence.

After making a "Real Man" promise to do such things as obtain consent for all sexual contact, the men, along with a large number of female students, walked from the Marshall Center ampitheater to the former Administration Building and back.

Student Michael Awbrey is vice president of the event's sponsoring organization, Necessary Improvements to Transform Our Environment (N.I.T.E.). While he admits that while the image of young men, including the USF Baseball team, in high heels is funny, the purpose is to get men to acknowledge a serious problem.

"They're not just putting on women's heels, they're coming together and we're all saying that we do care about the women in our lives, we care about the women all around us, and so we're here showing our support and trying to help raise awareness for sexual violence."

Brian Clark, a former NFL player and current USF Academic and Student-Athlete Development Coordinator, led the "Real Man" promise.

He says he did it to honor both his late mentor, former USF Athletic Director Lee Roy Selmon, who took part in this past spring's Take Back the Night event, and the women in his life.

"I look at my daughter, I look at my wife, I look at my mom and all the women around me, and the fact that these men are here today and standing for what is right and how they should be treated, I would be upset if I didn't come and show my support and show what they're doing and what they're standing for is the right thing to do."

In 2008, USF became the first college to hold a march sanctioned by the national "Walk A Mile In Her Shoes" organization.

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