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Program Possibilities: Heidelberg in Heels

Submitted by Elizabeth Hackworth, Resident Assistant, Heidelberg College

It was late August and the Residents Life staff of France Hall at Heidelberg College was just finishing up their staff meeting when one of the RA’s brought a programming idea to the group. “What if we sponsored a competition where the men on campus would dress like women” one girl said. After some discussion the idea seemed like a good one but had a few kinks such as discrimination, the thought of it being a “drag show” and whether or not the administration would approve. Then one of the staff members came up with the idea of making it a women’s health awareness program. Everyone agreed that this would be a great way to promote women’s issues on campus. One issue remained and that was what to call the program. After much thought and deliberation France Hall Staff decided to call it “Heidelberg In Heels.”

The staff spent many evenings brainstorming about how the program would be run and how best to recruit men for the competition. Asking organizations to sponsor a male in the competition seemed like the best way to get contestants. The staff also decided that there would be four categories for the men to be judged in. The categories were “dress like the organization that sponsored you”, “evening gown”, “talent”, and “question and answer.” In order to incorporate women’s health into the program the staff decided to ask health related questions to the audience during the breaks in the program. The first person to yell the answer would get a prize. They also decided to set up a table with information on breast health as well as having admission be one canned food item to donate to a food pantry.

Finally the day of the show came! Everyone was getting excited the residents halls buzzed with the anticipation of the program. The entire France Hall staff was working in overdrive to make sure that the competition would run smoothly. It was show time! The contestants arrived and got dressed up like their organization for the first round of competition. After seeing some interesting talents such as dancing, making peanut butter and jelly “who’s line is it anyway style”, a baton routine and a comedy act it was clear that the program was a huge success. The final portion of the show was dedicated to asking each contestant what they thought was the biggest issue facing women today. Several good answers were given and the judges decided to name “Tiny” “Miss Heidelberg In Heels 2006.”

“Heidelberg In Heels” was so successful that the administration and students told the France Hall Staff that it should return a 2nd year in a row. The program was educational, incorporated community service and couldn’t have been any more fun.