The Tunnel of Oppression will be back on TCU’s campus for the third year with new features, a committee member for the event said.
As it has done in past years, the Tunnel of Oppression will consist of several student groups who will “sponsor” a room in the tunnel, Kristin Harris-McDonald, a counselor at the Health Center and a staff member on the Tunnel of Oppression committee said. She said the rooms will focus on different forms of oppression that occur in the world.
Participants will be guided through the maze-like tunnel, spending three to five minutes in each room. After completing the tunnel in a total of about 30-45 minutes, participants can discuss the experience with the creators and each other.
Harris-McDonald said the committee requested that student group sponsors showcase a different perspective on oppression than they have in the past.
“I believe that participants will get a different perspective and even learn something new about issues that aren’t discussed much,” Harris-McDonald said. “We anticipate that this year’s tunnel will be a different experience from previous years.”
TCU’s Gay-Straight Alliance is one of the organizations that will participate in the Tunnel of Oppression, Jamal King, president of the organization, said. The GSA has been a part of the tunnel since it first made its appearance in 2008. In past years, GSA has focused on forms of oppression such as focusing on LGBTQ name calling, King said.
This year, the organization will focus on legal aspects of oppression such as gay marriage and equality in the workplace. In an effort to get their message across, King said that he has a general idea of what he wants GSA’s room to look like. They plan to display pictures of people who identify themselves as LGBTQ, gay families, individuals who have had difficulty adopting children and people who have been fired because of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” he said.
“We’re going to make sure that we have faces of GSA members, of other people who identify as LGBTQ,” King said. “That way we could really put a face to the issue.”
Continuing the traditional format of the tunnel, the committee will again have a “Wall of Change,” Harris-McDonald said. The wall will be a place for participants to write down their reflections or what they have learned by going through the tunnel.
The Tunnel of Oppression first began at Western Illinois University in 1993, Harris-McDonald said, as was a way to inform people about oppression and offer possible ways to do something about oppression.
Tunnel of Oppression
Where: Brown-Lupton University Union Ballroom
When: Begins at 7 a.m. Tuesday–Thursday
Admission is free and open to the public.