A beggar held out a cup and tried to collect money from a group of young people, pleading for a few pieces of change and a meal for him and his girlfriend.
The group was told to keep walking into Cobb Residence Hall, as part of the Tunnel of Oppression Project.
The project, a multimedia experience hosted by the Residence Hall Association, the National Residence Hall Honorary and others, sheds light on the struggles of people dealing with oppression.
TOUR THE TUNNELTime: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. today
Location: Cobb Hall
Groups are led on a tour through the project, starting outside Cobb. Participants first are warned about the content and asked a series of questions about their personal experiences with oppression.
Just before entering the building, the group watched a young girl wearing a sign reading “gimp” separate from the group to take the handicap ramp.
The tour continued to take the group to rooms to step into the minds of the abused.
Stations in the tunnel covered common topics such as body image, police harassment and religious terrorism through staged skits.
Two true stories of UNC students involved with abusive partners were orated by actors in a room dimly illuminated for dramatic effect.
Participants ended their journey in the “Hallway of Happiness,” in which they were asked to write their final thoughts on the tunnel of oppression.
“While we may not have these experiences, we know people that do,” said Christina Fluet, RHA president and co-chairwoman for Tunnel of Oppression.
The project, which began Monday and will be presented today and Wednesday, has been in the works since last October.
Patrick Healy, co-chairman for the Tunnel of Oppression, pitched the idea when he noticed that other schools around the country had the program.
“They have these all over the country, it was surprising to me that we didn’t have one,” Healy said.
The performance allowed everyone to share the common experience of oppression and empathize with one another.
One excerpt written on the hall wall read, “Everyone is different and I don’t want to make them feel like they have to change anymore. Spread LOVE.”
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