Tunnel of Oppression

Friday March 10, 2017

9:00am – 7:00pm
Chris Kuntzen Hall, Anderson University Center

Tunnel of Oppression is an interactive experiences that aims to raise awareness of issues of privilege and oppression by presenting scenes grounded in real-world, lived experiences and to provide space for dialogue and reflection on social justice issues.  Scenes within the Tunnel are designed by students and provide a creative outlet for the community to learn, reflect, and dialogue together.

Indication of Interest

Send an email to dcenter@plu.edu sharing your interest in developing a Tunnel Scene by Friday 2/10 @ 5pm.

2017 Tunnel Scene Planning Timeline

Students (individually and in teams) are invited to design tunnel scenes to creatively engage our PLU community in raising awareness about issues of privilege and oppression.

Thursday, January 19
11:30-1:00 Info Session | The CAVE 
Lead by the Tunnel Planning team, this will be an opportunity for students to learn more about the 2017 Tunnel of Oppression and to begin brainstorming scene ideas. Student groups are encouraged to bring 3+ members to this session to participate in the brainstorming activity.

Tunnel Info and Brainstorming Google Slides

Friday, February 10
By 5:00pm Indication of Interest
Send a email to dcenter@plu.edu sharing your intent to participate in tunnel along with names of any others who will be in your group. Upon receiving this, a Tunnel Planning Team member will be assigned to support your group with the scene development process.

Monday, February 13
Ongoing Design Scene
With your team, brainstorm the specific oppression you would like to portray in your scene. Conduct research through the library and other community based resources to gain a depth of knowledge around the impact of the oppression. Determine which type (Interactive, Mixed Media, or Theatrical) of scene you would like to design to engage your audience. Create a layout of how you would like to have your scene displayed. Complete and turn in via Google the Scene Proposal.

2x Connect with assigned Tunnel Planning Team member
Each team will be assigned a Tunnel Planning Team mentor. The role of this mentor is to provide scene logistical guidance and support for best utilizing scene design to portray take away message. They are great resources for developing your tunnel scene proposal. Each team is required to connect with their mentor 2x during this period.

Sunday, February 26
By 11:59pm Scene Proposal Due
Scene proposals will be reviewed by the Tunnel Planning Team for clarity, depth of research, and creative design of scene. 10 scenes will be selected to be showcased in the 2017 Tunnel of Oppression. Teams selected will be notified by Monday February 27th at 5pm.

Monday, February 27 – Wednesday March 8
On going Scene Preparation

Thursday, March 9
3:00pm – 6:30pm Tunnel Setup
This is the time available to construct your scene in your specific tunnel space. All scenes must be completed by 6:30pm.

7:00pm Docent Training and Rehearsal
At least ONE member of your team must be present for the rehearsal run through and training of the docents.

Friday, March 9
9:00am – 7:00pm Tunnel of Oppression
The PLU community is invited to experience the tunnel at this time. Estimated time to participate in Tunnel of Oppression is about 1 hour (30-45 min in the tunnel, and 15 min with a faculty/staff lead debrief) – this time does not include time in que. The last group will be let in at 7:00pm.

7:30 pm Tunnel Tear Down
When the last group is done walking through the tunnel, we will all work together to break down the space. At least TWO members of your team must be present.

There are multiple ways for Faculty and Staff to get involved with Tunnel of Oppression

For more information or to indicate your interest, please email dcenter@plu.edu

Make the Creation of a Scene an Assignment

Faculty are invited to incorporate a Tunnel scene design as part of their Spring semester curriculum.  Below is a link to a example of a scene design assignment from Dr. Jennifer Smith’s 2013 IHON 253 course.  An email indication of interest to submit a scene proposal is due Friday 2/10 at 5pm.

Example: IHON 253 Tunnel of Oppression Scene Assessment 

Schedule a class or group to walk through 
Would you like your class to go through the Tunnel together?  Faculty are invited to coordinate and reserve a specific time they would like to attend Tunnel with their students.  By reserving a time, your group be able to first in the queue at your requested time.  A few logistical things to keep in mind include: 1) 10-12 people are let into the Tunnel every 10 min 2) the Tunnel typically takes around 40-60 min to experience depending on the number of scenes.  3) Groups participate in a 10-15 min debrief after the Tunnel experience.

Be a Tunnel of Oppression Facilitator
Tunnel of Oppression participants are asked to participate in a debrief session to reflect on discomfort and learning that they experienced while participating in the scenes. We hope that you might consider serving as a facilitator (or co-facilitator) with a group of 10-12 students for a 15-20 minute debrief session as they conclude walking through the exhibit. The program runs from 9am-7pm and you are welcome to sign up for a one or two hour time blocks.


  1. Male rape in prison (Women’s Center)
  2. The ‘Poor’ college student (Emerging Leaders)
  3. Sexual orientation outside of the United States (Queer Ally Student Union)
  4. ‘Dreamers’ (Latino Unidos)
  5. The Lute Dome (Community Engagement & Service)
  6. Sweatshops (Asian Pacific Islander Club)
  7. The ‘R’ Word (Student Athletic Advisory Committee)
  8. Indigenous Boarding Schools (First Peoples Club)


  1. Systematic Poverty on Native American Reservation (Emerging Leaders)
  2. Deportation and its effects (Latinos Unidos & 1079+ Club)
  3. Physical ability around PLU’s Campus (Social Action & Leadership)
  4. Stigmatization of women, children, and infants who are on WIC (Women’s Center, Voices Against Violence, and Men’s Project)
  5. Beauty across cultures & Western influences on global concepts of beauty (IHON 253: Gender, Sexuality, and Culture)
  6. Wester discrimination against people who wear religious head coverings (IHON 253: Gender, Sexuality, and Culture)
  7. Sex Trafficking industry within the United States, specifically focusing on the PNW (IHON 253: Gender, Sexuality, and Culture)
  8. Sexual assault in the military (IHON 253: Gender, Sexuality, and Culture)
  9. The freedom movement/travel (Wang Center)
  10. Road blocks, or sometimes speed bumps, faced by “non conventional” families and partnerships (Queer Ally Student Union)
  11. “PLU and Parkland”: The PLU community’s interactions with the greater Parkland area (Rieke Scholars)
  12. Healthcare reform/uninsured Americans (Progress)
  13. Environmental and social justice impacts of the proposed coal trains that will travel through Montana, Idaho, and PNW and export terminals proposed along the Washington and Oregon coasts (Residence Hall Association/Council Social Justice and Sustainability directors)
  14. The hardships that LGBTQ students can face in traditional housing selection processes and living arrangements, which support gender binaries and exclude queer identities (Associated Students of PLU)


  1. Rieke Scholars – Inequity in the US educational system
  2. Latinos Unidos – Desaparecidos en Latin America
  3. Queer Ally Student Union – Queer teen suicide
  4. Social Action and Leadership Wing – Mental Illness
  5. Mycal Ford – The Rape of Nan Jing
  6. Residence Hall  Association – The Social Justice of Sustainability
  7. Black Student Union – Name Discrimination
  8. Progress – Unmet needs in child healthcare
  9. Rae-Ann Barras – Do you know the truth about the African Continent?
  10. Amnesty International – Media Censorship
  11. ASPLU, Sustainability, GREAN – Rainforest Deforestation


  1. GREAN – Just Sustainability
  2. Rieke Scholars – Human Trafficking
  3. Social Action & Leadership Wing – Homelessness in WA
  4. Harmony – Transgender Awareness & Cisgender Privilege
  5. Latinos Unidos – Drug Wars/Impact on Mexican School Children
  6. Interfaith Council – Muslim Oppresion in the United Ststes
  7. Emerging Leader – Graffiti Wall of Stereotypes
  8. Women’s Center – Societal Pressure re: Marriage
  9. Trini Posse – Blood Donation Restrictions
  10. Students of Color Union – Life of a Student of Color at PLU
  11. Voices Against Violence – Cyberstalking
  12. Matrix – Media censorship of oppressed groups
  13. BSU – American/Black American Ideals of Beauty
  14. ASPLU – Political representation


  1. Social Action and Leadership Wing – Sustainability/ food privilege
  2. Rieke Scholars – Sweatshops
  3. Men as Partners Promoting Equality – Masculinity as a restrictive gender role
  4. Latinos Unidos – Immigration
  5. Emerging Leaders – Graffiti wall
  6. Voices Against Violence – Same-Sex Intimate Partner Violence
  7. Amnesty International – Death Penalty
  8. Students for Peace – Fighting wars at home vs. abroad
  9. Harmony – Marriage Equity
  10. Sojourner Advocates – Airport Security and Racial Profiling
  11. Women’s Center – Inside the Mind of a Person with an Eating Disorder
  12. Black Student Union – Hair


  1. Rieke Scholars – Menstruation and Consumerism
  2. Amnesty International – Torture
  3. Emerging Leaders – HIV/AIDS
  4. Black Student Union – Inequities in the Educational System
  5. Social Action & Leadership Wing – “Black” Christmas
  6. Women’s Center – Gender Pay Inequities
  7. Residence Hall Association – Human Trafficking
  8. Hong International Hall/The Diversity Center – Language Privilege
  9. Voices Against Violence – Intimate Partner Violence
  10. Harmony – Queer Aversion Therapy