Martin Luther King Jr. week offers the campus community a variety of events all about MLK and his purpose.
One of these events, held by A Mile in Our Shoes (AMOS), is the Tunnel of Oppression.
Making its return to campus after being cancelled last spring due to COVID-19, the tunnel is an immersive simulation that puts attendees through scenes of oppressive situations that occur in the world.
"My goal is almost to make people feel uncomfortable," AMOS president Maya Savedra said. "I don't mean that in a negative way. But people always say to change, you have to feel uncomfortable, growth is always an uncomfortable feeling."
For several reasons, the event was postponed from Jan. 20 to Feb. 17.
The tunnel takes several months of planning to execute. Starting in the fall, the executive board meets to discuss event logistics. Then, they write scripts for the scenes, hold auditions to recruit actors and begin rehearsals.
At the beginning of the spring semester, actors and executive board members meet multiple times a week in preparation for the event.
In the past, the tunnel has been held the week after students return to campus in the spring.
Due to a lack of actors this year, AMOS postponed the event to February, during Black History Month, in order to give those involved more time to prepare.
“It made everything a lot better,” Savedra said.
AMOS vice president, Simi Agunloye, said otherwise.
"It made a lot of people a bit unmotivated," she said.
Nonetheless, AMOS members were able to host the event and maintain enthusiasm to grow the event and organization.
“I think that there's going to be a lot more engagement,” AMOS treasurer Franchesca Todd said. “I found out how many people didn't know about the tunnel. And then me telling them about it and hearing their interest about it and wanting to join, that's very encouraging. I believe that we can only go up.”
To learn more about the Tunnel of Oppression or A Mile in Our Shoes, email Maya Savedra at firstname.lastname@example.org.