Multicultural event to highlight modern oppression

Current Bradley students can participate in a different kind of tour on campus with the Tunnel of Oppression Wednes

day and Thursday in the Student Center Ballroom.

The event, which was last hosted in 2009, will provide students with an interactive tour of contemporary oppression issues in the Bradley community.

Created by Multicultural Student Services and University Housing, the event highlights today’s issues of oppression, privilege and power in a historical and contemporary context, said Assistant Director of Multicultural Student Services Norris Chase.

“The purpose of holding the Tunnel of Oppression every two years instead of every year is to

accurately plan and prepare for the next time around,” Chase said.  “Every two years the campus community changes. Our goal is to ensure that the issues presented within the tunnel are pertinent to the current student population.”

At the Tunnel of Oppression, volunteers will guide participants on a tour of scenes involving the topic of oppression, and then lead a discussion about participants’ experiences on the tour. Each section of the tour aims to educate participants about current oppression issues in society.

Senior sociology major Elizabeth Goins said she wanted to volunteer her time to the Tunnel of Oppression to help raise awareness to Bradley students about sensitive issues such as racism, homophobia and homelessness.

“I want to challenge people to think outside the box and be aware of what other people go through,” Goins said. “The experience in 2009 has made me have such a deeper understanding about what people go through, and I am now even more respectful of people’s beliefs and the pains people have faced and what they are facing today.”

Senior management and administration major Latifa Boddy said she’s planning on volunteering once again because of the tour she took her freshman year. Boddy said she is working on Middle Eastern Discrimination for the Tunnel this year.

“The Tunnel of Oppression offers a different perspective that I believe is extremely important yet hardly discussed,” she said. “Since it has been brought back, I feel it is necessary for me to be a part of the construction of something that I had learned so much from.”

Junior learning behavior specialist major and volunteer coordinator Samantha Babb said she hopes students will be enlightened to the struggles and hardships of one another.

“I hope students will evaluate their daily choices and actions based on the attempt to end various forms of oppression,” Babb said.

The Tunnel of Oppression is free and open to the entire campus community, Norris said.  The theme for this year’s Tunnel 2013 is “stepping out of your comfort zone and into someone else’s reality.”

“It is fair to say that the majority of individuals have directly or indirectly witnessed some form of oppression within their lifespan,” Norris said. “Our goal is to increase awareness of what types of oppression other people have to face on a daily basis.”

The Tunnel of Oppression will run from noon to 8 p.m. Feb. 20 and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 21 in the Student Center Ballroom. The estimated tour time is about 45 to 65 minutes. Groups are encouraged to sign up for a time electronically at the Multicultural Student Services website to avoid delays.

Volunteers are still needed for this year’s Tunnel of Oppression for a variety of positions, including setup and breakdown, tour guiding and acting.  Those interested in volunteering can contact Norris Chase at nchase@fsmail.bradley.edu.