By HAYLEY HOFFMAN – MANAGING EDITOR
To go along with changes to Centre’s revised sexual misconduct policy, the Panhellenic and Interfraternal Councils are hosting Healthy Relationship Together (HeaRT) Week Sept. 29-Oct. 5.
Billed as a “sex positive” event, HeaRT Week aims to engage them discussions centered on perceptions of relationships in the Centre community.
Senior and Panhellenic Council (PHC) executive board member Claire Phillips decided to get involved with the event as “spreading knowledge about healthy relationships is really important to [her] as a friend, a feminist, a Gender Studies minor, and a woman.”
“[Senior] Alyssa Watson, the PHC VP of Enrichment, saw other colleges doing similar event weeks, often under the name ‘Sex Week,’” Phillips said. “The Panhellenic Council thought it would be a good idea to include other relationship issues other than just sex, including domestic violence, sexual assault, and gender issues. Thus, HeaRT Week was born.”
Throughout the week, various campus organizations have hosted and will continue to host events that aim to educate students on issues related to sex, sexuality, and gender.
“Each event has a specific purpose, whether it be philanthropy, awareness, or educating students,” Phillips said. “It is time for us to start conversations on campus about these issues via larger platforms.”
On Tuesday evening, the Panhellenic Council hosted their annual Cheese for Charity event and raised $523.35 for the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center. This latenight grilled cheese delivery service is popular among students as sandwiches can be brought to anywhere on campus.
Centre Feminists hosted “Healthy Relationships Trivia” night during the Cowan dinner rush Wednesday evening. This event allowed teams of students to compete in teams and test their sexual health knowledge.
Today, Dr. Shane McKee will speak about how men’s gender roles play out in fraternity and college life at the “Men and Masculinity” convocation. All fraternities are required to attend the event.
The popular “Walk a Mile in Their Shoes” event will take place on Sunday afternoon but with a new twist—those participating in the event will no longer wear high-heeled shoes.
“I think it’s really important that we recognize that women are not the only people affected by domestic violence, and we’d like our ‘Walk a Mile’ event to reflect that reality,” Phillips said. “Furthermore, when we ask men to put on high heels in order to metaphorically understand a woman’s perspective, it assumes two things: one, that women wear high heels, and two, it is silly or unnatural for men to wear high heels.”
In the past, Phillips believes that the high heels “trivialized” the serious issue at hand and distracted from the purpose of the event.
“This binary view of gender leaves out a lot of people who choose to express their gender differently from the norm— or not at all,” Phillips said. “It’s time we move away from this antiquated way of thinking.”
Students planning to attend the walk are encouraged to buy t-shirts at the HeaRT Week table outside of Cowan this week as well as create their own posters including facts about sexual violence. The team with the most participants wearing t-shirts and holding signs will receive $100 to donate to the charity of their choice.
Phillips hopes that the Centre community will take the week’s events seriously.
“I’m really proud of the PHC and the IFC for stepping up. A lot of smaller social justice organizations, like Centre Feminists and Centre Queers and Allies, have been discussing these topics for quite some time, but having the support of large organizations like PHC and IFC really helps the message travel,” Phillips said. “And, we are really fortunate to have such a cool director of Greek Life [Alycia Tidrick] who supports new ideas like HeaRT Week.”
Any questions about HeaRT Week events can be sent to Alyssa Watson at email@example.com.