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RAs promote health issues awareness

Posted on 11.20.2013

“It’s already uncomfortable,” said first year graduate student in sociology Troy Heffron about his bright red high heels.
And Heffron, residence director of Cory Bretz Hall, still had 12 hours to go before the No Gender November event put on by his staff. He said that the goal of the event was to raise awareness about health issues.


Students who asked to remain nameless show off their footwear before embarking on the Heel Walk during the No Gender November event on Nov. 8.

Heffron said that No Gender November was inspired by No Shave November, an annual event when some men grow mustaches or stop shaving to raise awareness about prostate cancer.
“That [No Shave November] is really where the kind of inspiration came from—to raise awareness about health issues regardless of gender,”  Heffron said. “And also how—me being a male—how do women’s health issues affect me? How do society’s views of masculinity and femininity—how do those apply to each other?”
At the event, students could earn a free T-shirt by visiting seven different stations with different activities and information, then getting cards signed.
Some of the stations included “Balloon Shaving,” “Date Planning,” “The Gym” and another with information about health services at Planned Parenthood. The UIndy Health and Counseling Center also had a booth.
Another station was the “Heel Walk,” where men and women put on a pair of high heels and walked up the stairs, around the balcony and back down the stairs in the Schwitzer Student Center Atrium.
Freshman biology major Ceyrstin Thomas said that it was funny how the guys tried to race during the “Heel Walk,” while the women walked slowly.
According to Thomas, she attended the event because it looked interesting. However, she said that at first she thought the flyers said No Shave November, and it was not until she took a closer look that she saw what it actually said.
Thomas said that she liked the “Photo Booth” station, where a resident assistant showed videos of photographs being changed in PhotoShop. The videos were supposed to show how people have unrealistic expectations based on images that have been manipulated.
“There’s a difference between taking away some blemishes and changing all of it,” she said. “So that was kind of amazing to me.”
However,  Thomas said that her favorite station was “Do Somebody’s Makeup,” where men and women tested their cosmetology skills. She said that it also had a strong message.
“My favorite was the makeup one, and the girl was basically saying that inner beauty is greater than outer beauty,” Thomas said.
By the end of the night, Heffron was no longer wearing his high heels. But he said that he was happy with the way the event went and how actively his staff participated in making it a success.
“Some people were challenged to tackle different things, or to expose themselves to new things, I suppose,” he said. “But they were also very open to learning something new and to putting on an event that is perhaps a little bit different from what you might see.”


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