Chi Beta Phi taking steps to acknowledge domestic violence

By Emily McLean, Contributing Writer

The science honorarium Chi Beta Phi’s “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,” an event to raise money and awareness about domestic violence, will be held on April 26 on the quad from 12 to 1 p.m. with a pre-walk session from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
 
The room flowed with small conversation while the clock reached 12:30 p.m., and then the members got seated. Chi Beta Phi meets every other Wednesday, and this meeting addressed “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes.” Ideas were bounced around the room, and different parts of the event were arranged; it is one of many that Chi Beta Phi has committed to this year. 
 
As the meeting for “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” continued, the room swelled with ideas and details were decided. The men participating would be sponsored by friends or Greek Organizations. To take part in the event a pair of shoes and a small donation for a local halfway house would be required. Contestants will strut their stuff for a mile walk around the quad to compete.  
 
The idea for “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” came from the chapter’s adviser Dr. Theunis van Aardt, known by students as Dr. T. He helped host a similar walk at a previous institution. The walk went from local to citywide in just a year, and he hopes to achieve similar success at West Liberty University. Dr. T focuses on the bigger picture, saying, “Personally, I find it wonderful that such a small thing as ‘making’ a bunch of men walk in high heels can serve to bring such a tremendously important issue to light.” 
 
This is not the first time the group has reached out to help a local charity. Katie Yauch, Chi Beta Phi Secretary, says she really enjoyed working with Valley Hospice. “We donated various carnations to patients in Liza’s Place during Valentine’s Day of last year,” Yauch said. “We were able to personally visit the patients and talk with them during the holiday.” 
 
In 2013, Chi Beta Phi held a 5k run and raffle for Free Wheelchair Mission, an organization working to provide wheelchairs to those in developing countries. By the end of the event, they raised $470 in donations. Dr. T believes helping the community should be a goal of every student. 
 
“In the end it will be community service that allows you to witness and respect the people in our world for who and what they are and to know that being different is just as good a thing as being the same,” stated Dr. T. 
 
Chi Beta Phi was founded at West Liberty University as the Rho Chapter in 1935. The society promotes interest in science and recognizes scientific achievement. Chi Beta Phi has established a presence in the community, earning nationwide recognition for the most improved chapter in 2015 and this year being named the most outstanding chapter. 
 
Chi Beta Phi President Austin Cusick gives credit to the members, saying, “This has shown me that we are able, as a group, to succeed and produce positive effects on our community and each other.”
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