From the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Aleste student paper:
Tunnel of Oppression invites students to open their eyes, minds
One of the greatest parts of moving away from your hometown and coming to college is diving into a sea full of people with different cultures, religions and backgrounds different from your own."Diversity" now means competition over how oppressed your group is.
Student Government wants to celebrate those unique differences of diverse organizations on campus by hosting the Tunnel of Oppression scheduled from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, April 7, in the Morris University Center’s Meridian Ballroom.
Second-year pharmacy student Jamal Sims, of Springfield, helped plan the event and said it is the fourth year the Tunnel of Oppression has been held at SIUE.
“The program provides different organizations on campus a way to educate students about their organization such as their religion or current events,” Sims said. “The event can teach students who are different from one another about each other, so it can be used as an educational tool.”
According to Sims, eight campus organizations participate in the Tunnel.
The Gay-Straight Alliance, Arabic Club, Students for Justice in Palestine, Gamma Phi Omega, Black Girls Rock, Student Veteran’s Association, New Horizons and the Hispanic Student Union will all have a display at the event.
Sims said the Tunnel of Oppression differs from last year, because a tunnel was actually built for students to walk through instead of curtains displaying the organizations.
“All the organizations, including members of Student Government, along with housing and the theater department, built a tunnel from scratch,” Sims said. “The tunnel will be very interactive with videos, handouts and quizzes going throughout.”
Sims said the aspects of oppression specified during the event are up to the organizations to decide.
“We give them free range on what [ the organizations] want their display to be, but provide them total budget and help put everything together,” Sims said.
Junior nursing major Danielle Ganassian, of Bloomington, has also worked on this event and said the Tunnel of Oppression is a way for students on campus to get a better understanding of other organizations.
“The Hispanic Student Union and Gamma Phi Omega want to show students that women are more than just housewives, and change people’s view of how people see women and change stereotype per se,” Ganassian said. “The Arabic Club will talk about all that’s going on with the [unrest in the Middle East] and try to give students more of a worldly view.”
And this is something that has been on numerous campuses in recent years.
Celebrating and complaining have apparently become synonyms on college campuses.
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