Tunneling through intolerance

Last year, racial slurs and derogatory comments filled the air at the Tunnel of Oppression, offending as many as it educated. Despite last year’s controversy, a group called Facilitating Awareness in our Community through Education and Support (FACES) will try to repeat its mission of spreading tolerance by confronting people with oppression.

Tunnel of Oppression, an exhibit aimed at teaching racial and social tolerance, will be held today through Friday at the Cypress Community Building from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

“We are going to hit several areas with messages on the wall, audio recordings and have pictures of things with an LCD projector on the wall which are supposed to display different types of oppression,” said Ben Sens, a committee member of FACES and political science student.

Several students will perform skits and act out prejudices and stereotypes concerning groups such as the homeless, disabled and the gay and lesbian community.

According to Sens, the program is supposed to show diversity on campus and make people aware of oppressed groups.

Ernest Joe, a political science major and member of FACES, will be participating in a skit on race and police brutality.

“It’s just showing what behaviors and stereotypes we need to change in society,” Joe said.

This will be the third year FACES has put on the event, which is open to everyone.

In past years, the event has had mixed responses from students.

“It’s been very much so a shock, it’s right there in front of your face and can be very disturbing for some and can be kind of uplifting,” Joe said. “All of this is a very positive program. It just opens up students’ and residents’ eyes to form a better society and culture.

Advocacy counselors will be at the end of the exhibit and will allow visitors going through the Tunnel of Oppression to voice their concerns, Sens said.

“We’re going to give people a chance to voice ways and their concerns about ending oppression on campus, about eliminating violence and hate and bigotry,” Sens said.