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Tunnel shows victims' worlds

March 28, 2003

By Peter Anzollitto

The Tunnel of Oppression, a one-hour performance that depicts various forms of oppression, will be on campus Monday in the Hankamer School of Business in an effort to create awareness on the Baylor community.

Campus Living and Learning has been working with the Living in a Diverse World work group on the joint project to expose participants to the different forms of oppression, including domestic violence, disabilities, minority and racial issues, genocide and gender issues.

The program will start in Room 101 of the Cashion Academic Center and will run through four out of the five floors of the Hankamer/Cashion building complex.

Participants can walk through the tunnel and actively experience a series of eight vignettes and a 'slur' tunnel.

Efforts to bring the tunnel to Baylor first began with the formation of the Living in a Diverse World work group last year.

'It came to our attention that two current hall directors had experienced the Tunnel of Oppression at other schools,' Dave Rozeboom, chairman of the Living in a Diverse World work group, said. 'We took those ideas and adapted them to what we thought would be good here at Baylor.'

The goal of the tunnel, Rozeboom said, is to expose people to the oppression that exists in the world, change their mindsets and adjust their actions.

Other schools that have put on tunnels of oppression have seen a change in behavior, Sarah Cappaus, director of Memorial and Alexander residence halls and former organizer of the tunnel at Northern Arizona University, said.

'It was really well-received,' Cappaus said. 'The tunnel gave students the opportunity to talk about a lot of things they might not have otherwise had the chance to talk about.'

The tunnel will be an interactive event where participants will see, hear and can say things about what is happening around them.

Staff from the Counseling Center will be on hand to help students process the experience.

'A lot of times people hear the word oppression and just think of issues connected with race, but oppression manifests itself in many different ways and that is what we are trying to express,' said Andrew Telep, director of Brooks Residence Hall and organizer of the event.