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University Relations

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Nov. 22, 2005
Contact: Santos Núñez, Multicultural Resource Center, (785) 864-4350.

Tunnel of Oppression to open in late November at KU's Lewis Hall

LAWRENCE -- The Tunnel of Oppression will make its fifth appearance at the University of Kansas on Tuesday, Nov. 29, and Wednesday, Nov. 30, from 6 to 9 p.m. in Lewis Hall, 1530 Engel Road. The tunnel is an intense, interactive, multimedia experience that forces participants to face the different types of oppression, such as racism, sexism and homophobia.

About 200 students, faculty, staff and other Lawrence community members have visited the tunnel every year. Because the tunnel contains some harsh and ugly realities, children are discouraged from attending. Tunnel exits are also available for individuals who find it difficult to complete the experience. Once participants come to the end of the tunnel, they debrief by engaging in a small group discussion with a licensed university counselor.

Santos Núñez, program director of the Multicultural Resource Center and chair of the tunnel event, works with several other university offices and student organizations to coordinate the event.

Núñez said: "The goal of the tunnel is to have participants experience the different types of oppression that exist in our society and how they exist on so many different levels. Obviously, we can't recreate experiences and history, but we hope to educate people about oppression."

The tunnel, which will take five to seven minutes to experience, will include video and audio recordings as well as live role-playing situations. Some actually occurred at KU or on other campuses. These include an example of dating violence with one of the partners being abusive to the other and a student simulating symptoms of an eating disorder. Others are international in scope, such as footage of a concentration camp or scenes from movies. Visitors also will hear a variety of slurs and hate speech.

The debriefing session after visitors go through the tunnel will take about 10 minutes, so participants should allow about 20 minutes for the entire experience.

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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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