Tunnel of Oppression leads to understanding

Event exposes students to skills needed to navigate a diverse world

Story by Nick Robinson, Staff Writer

UW-Eau Claire’s Tunnel of Oppression, stationed in the Towers Hall basement, introduced students to injustice April 22 and 23 .

Andrew Karsten, coordinator for Peer Diversity Educators, which sponsored the event, said his favorite part is seeing people’s ideas changing throughout the program.

“A lot of the topics we discuss are things people may never have realized,” Karsten said.”A lot of times you can see the gears moving and people realizing ‘oh wow’ I do have white privilege.”

Karsten said Tunnel of Oppression is an important event to have on campus because for a lot of students often don’t realize privilege.

“A white student often doesn’t realize that being white in the United States gives you access to systems of power and advantages that people of color may not have access to.”

He also said the event is a step to making things better for minority students on campus, whether it be through race, religion, and including but not limited to gender identity.

Quincy Chapman, Assistant Director of Housing, said in order to prepare for the event, a lot has to be considered; Tunnel of Oppression requires 40 volunteers to operate.

“This event has an emotional and intellectual experience that stretches people in terms of their comfort zone.” he said. “What Tunnel of Oppression does is that it increases the likelihood of communicating openly with one another, respecting and appreciating one another’s different experiences.”

Chapman said the event changes awareness and how everyone can be more welcoming and inclusive with one another here on campus and in society.