March 05, 2014 8:45AM
In an effort to help students and staff have a better understanding of diversity and the many overt and subtle ways some people experience oppression, several student groups are hosting a two-day “Tunnel of Oppression” at Pittsburg State University.
The event, sponsored by the Office of Student Diversity and University Housing, runs from 12:30-9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 4, and from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Wednesday, March 5, in the Kansas East and West Rooms of the Overman Student Center.
Students will perform skits based on the Tunnel experience at 7 p.m. on both Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Tunnel of Oppression is an interactive experience in which participants go through a tunnel, which is a sequence of rooms designed to create an awareness of different types of oppression and its effects within society and the campus community.
The program is designed to challenge the senses and feelings of participants in a safe environment, allowing people to 'walk in another's shoes.’ After going through the tunnel, participants will have the opportunity to process what they experienced with trained counselors, as well as obtain information on to how to 'fight back' or work toward alleviating some of the oppression.
The Tunnel of Oppression is a campus grassroots diversity program that originated in 1993 at the Western Illinois University and since has been staged at campuses across the U.S.
Organizers say that while the tunnel may be disturbing, it is an effective tool used to teach people about how it really feels to be in various situations.