“When people think of domestic violence they think of physical harm, but it’s more than that,” Alpha Chi Omega Vice President of Philanthropy Livi Ramirez said.
Ramirez and her sorority organized Laps for Love, a new philanthropy event benefitting the San Luis Obispo Women’s Shelter, in hopes of bringing the community together to address misconceptions about domestic violence.
“We wanted to be really inclusive [of the community],” sociology senior Ramirez said. “We usually have booths on campus and that spreads awareness, but I wanted to do something that would promote this throughout the whole community of San Luis Obispo.”
The event took place on Sunday afternoon at the Cal Poly track and raised an estimated $3,152. More than 300 participants, including members of Alpha Chi Omega, Phi Kappa Psi, Kappa Alpha Theta, Delta Upsilon and Delta Chi, came to the event. Of these greek chapters, Delta Chi had the largest participation. To recognize their turnout, Alpha Chi Omega awarded Delta Chi with $150 to give to a philanthropy of its choice.
The San Luis Obispo Women’s Shelter provides legal counseling and support services to victims of domestic violence. The money raised will fund the shelter’s day-to-day operations, vans for transportation, clothing, groceries and counseling services. Between July 2014 and June 2015, the San Luis Obispo women’s shelter helped 1,017 adults and children, according to its website.
Participants at Laps for Love paid a $5 fee, which went directly to the shelter. There were also T-shirts available for purchase for $15, in which case one-third of the cost was given to the women’s shelter.
The shelter will receive additional donations from Meathead Movers’ sponsorship of the event. The company plans to pay Alpha Chi Omega $100 per 100 laps. Collectively, participants walked 1,433 laps, the equivalent of 360 miles over the course of three hours.
SAFER and a women’s shelter representative were also present at the event. Pamphlets were available to provide participants with resources on domestic violence. Interfraternity Council SAFER Liaison Nick Paiva spoke on the importance of college students being educated on this topic.
“I think this is an issue for men and women. It’s not a single-sex issue; everyone needs to be aware of what’s going on on college campuses, specifically in regards to sexual assault and dating violence,” wine and viticulture senior Paiva said. “And men specifically need to take a more active role in preventing it.”
One major goal of the event was to get as many people out to the track as possible.
“We wanted to try and get something that is more accessible for the community to be a part of, so anything that could get on-campus and other organizations involved as well as the SLO community,” Alpha Chi Omega President and agricultural communications senior Lindsay
If you or anyone you know is experiencing domestic violence, the women’s shelter 24-hour crisis line can be reached at (805)-781-6400.