WSU Housing and Residence Life

Housing and Residential Life

Rooms of Resistance 2017

Rooms of Resistance 2017 aims to strengthen human relations

Rooms of Resistance, formerly Tunnel of Oppression, tours will be conducted Nov. 12-14 in the Elson S. Floyd Cultural Center at Washington State University to encourage participants to learn new perspectives from others different from themselves. Daily tours will begin at 5 p.m. with the final tour starting at 8 p.m.

“Rooms of Resistance is an exciting new take on social justice programming in an effort to bring new ideas and experiences to expose students to multiple realities that WSU students face in their daily lives” said Melissa Williams, Coordinator for Diversity and Leadership Initiatives in WSU Residence Life.

This year’s Rooms of Resistance will use an interactive-museum format: visitors will be placed in groups that remain together throughout various presentations and activities on social identities and allyship. Participants will learn about resources that can help them better navigate their role as a member of the WSU and global community. In addition, the groups will have a chance to join in small group dialogue around their experiences throughout the evening and engage in respectful and appreciative dialogue and inquiry.

Rooms of Resistance is sponsored by Residence Life in partnership with the Office of Multicultural Student Services, Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse, and the Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation Resource Center.

 Comments From Participants

"It was valuable for me to learn about the amount of people affected by oppression and read some of their stories."

"A very touching thing to have - The Tunnel of Oppression makes a strong point."

"I realized I sometimes stereotype and I want to stop."

"Getting to experience the realism of each situation was extremely powerful."

"I saw things through other peoples' eyes."


History of Tunnel of Oppression/Rooms of Resistance at WSU

The Tunnel of Oppression is nationally used as an educational tool. It reportedly originated in 1993 at Western Illinois University, but now exists in a variety of formats, exploring an even wider variety of topics related to oppression. Our hope is that through learning facts about systems of oppression and emotionally experiencing it in a safer environment, we will encourage and empower individuals to make choices that reduce the power these systems have on all of us, regardless of our backgrounds.

Timeline of Tunnel of Oppression at WSU:

  • 2004: The first WSU Tunnel of Oppression was hosted in the basement of Wilmer-Davis Residence Hall.
  • 2005-2006: Beasley Coliseum
  • 2007: Stephenson South Residence Hall
  • 2008-2009: McCroskey Residence Hall
  • 2010: Ensminger Pavilion
  • 2011-2014: Gannon Goldsworthy Residence Hall (attendance record holder, over 1,000 participants)
  • 2015: McCroskey Residence Hall
  • 2016: Ensminger Pavilion
  • 2017: Elson S. Floyd Cultural Center