RMU students go “One Day Without Shoes”

Tuesday, April 16 was much like other days at Robert Morris University, and students even went through getting ready with their normal morning routines. Only one action had to be subtracted, and that was picking out and putting on a pair of shoes. This was one small step out of the routine that would change their physical steps throughout the day. RMU, in conjunction with TOMS, hosted “One Day Without Shoes” on campus so that awareness can be raised about the millions of children around the world who go every single day without wearing shoes.

The event has been advertised around campus for quite some time now, but the hope is that those who are not aware of it or the cause it supports will ask those who are walking around campus barefoot why they are doing so. This will start a conversation about the problem at hand and put into perspective how much something as simple as shoes can be taken for granted.

Raising awareness is a crucial part of this event, but there is more than the day than just not wearing shoes. On the 3rd Floor of Nicholson in the Rotunda from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. students had the opportunity to sign a pledge and could get a free ‘dirt cup’ as well as a chance to win prizes. There was also a 5 vs. 5 volleyball tournament at the volleyball court from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. complete with free food and music. To raise money for supplies for the event there was a raffle going on for a TOMS gift card that will buy a winner a pair of shoes, and in turn provide a child in need with shoes because of the one to one program TOMS sponsors.

“In today society we take a simple thing like shoes for granted. I just hope to raise awareness what life is like for the children who do not have the luxury of shoes. I want to encourage students to participate even if they can not for an entire day. One class, or one hour will still help raise awareness and curiosity.” said Shelbey Surgent, RMU’s campus representative for “One Day Without Shoes”.

Whether it was just during class, or walking around campus all day in the rain, many students shed their footwear to help raise awareness for the cause, and found the experience personally eye opening.