Opinion

Tunnel aims to challenge views of current issues

Tunnel of Oppression seeks to challenge people’s thoughts and perceptions on issues dealing with oppression and hatred.

Before entering the Tunnel, individuals hear and read a disclaimer.

“The experience is not intended to offend or bring about tension,” it states. “The Tunnel is meant to be an educational experience and the views expressed in the Tunnel are not the views of the University of Miami, any department or the individuals involved.”

Tunnel portrays different forms of oppression through the use of statistics, stories, videos and acting.  While planning the Tunnel, we draw on current issues to challenge people’s views on what is happening in the world.

This year a Tunnel participant questioned a reference to Trayvon Martin’s case in the racism room. What appeared in the room was a statement saying, “17-year-old Trayvon Martin was visiting a relative’s house in a Florida gated community when he walked to the store to get Skittles and iced tea for his little brother. Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by a self-styled neighborhood watch leader, who told police he thought Trayvon was ‘suspicious’ in the mostly-white community.”

This statement sought to highlight racial issues raised by the shooting. It was not meant to levy any judgment on the case itself.

By creating a dialogue, we hope that people will begin to stand up to the injustice present in society and continue alleviating oppression.  It is this kind of dialogue that Tunnel tries to bring about, but the notion that Tunnel perpetuates racism is an insult to the integrity of the event.

Natania Widensky is a senior majoring in economics. She served as co-chair on the Tunnel of Oppression’s Executive Board.

Haley Gordon and Ryan Schooley contributed to this report.

April 22, 2012

Reporters

Natania Widensky


4 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Tunnel aims to challenge views of current issues”

  1. John says:

    Haters gonna hate. Are you serious? Pretty sure you have no credibility at all now. Just sayin’

  2. Robert Hupf says:

    In the future, I think what would be preferable is if participants discuss such things in the Reflection room or with the designers of the room themselves. That’s what those outlets are for – ensuring a thoughtful, engaging discussion that allows for education to be exchanged.

    As we can see already, opinion articles in a newspaper leave little room for actual engagement and instead devolve into flame wars because there’s no ability for us all to question and critically assess each others thoughts in a concise, focused manner. In general, it also puts people on the defensive since it can be taken as publicly airing dirty laundry. Shrugs.

  3. Jordan Balke says:

    Tunnel of Oppression “is designed to create an awareness of different types of oppression, educate on its effects within society and the campus community, and

    directly engage participants in dialogue

    to explore opinions, values, and thoughts in regards to oppression.”

    I do that and then…

    “I strongly believe you went about giving feedback in an entirely inappropriate way.” My comments were also brought about to be “not honorable in any way.”

    I did exactly what you wanted people to do. I just didn’t happen to agree with you on one issue. Make up your damn minds. Do you want discussion or people to silently laud your efforts?

    Haters Gonna Hate.

  4. Jordan Balke says:

    Tunnel of Oppression “is designed to create an awareness of different types of oppression, educate on its effects within society and the campus community, and <> to explore opinions, values, and thoughts in regards to oppression.”

    I do that and then…

    “I strongly believe you went about giving feedback in an entirely inappropriate way.” My comments were also brought about to be “not honorable in any way.”

    I did exactly what you wanted people to do. I just didn’t happen to agree with you on one issue. Make up your minds. Do you want discussion or people to silently laud your efforts?

    Haters Gonna Hate
    http://i1.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/136/350/Hater.gif

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