Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Program focuses on oppression

UW-Whitewater students will have the chance to experience and understand the feelings of people who have faced oppression based on their race, gender, ability and more.


Boxes and Walls is an interactive diversity program that puts participants in a variety of oppressive situations that people throughout history, and in the present day, have experienced in their daily lives.

IMPACT treasurer Jarred Harkness said the program is important for students.

“The program is a good way to promote diversity on campus,” Harkness said. “Students can get a feel for situations that other students face on a daily basis.”

The six rooms will feature groups including African Americans, gender, Latino, disability, socio-economic, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and questioning.

Each room has two faculty co-chairs who work with student volunteers to organize the room.

“Each time we put on the program, we start planning it from scratch,” said Terry Tumbarello, assistant director of Residence Life. “Around 300 students volunteer and faculty and staff put in around 400 hours of work.”

Due to the large amount of time and energy used to plan the event, Boxes and Walls usually runs every other year,

“In a perfect would, if we had the resources, we could do it more often,” Tumbarello said.

The last time the program was put on, between 900 and 1,000 students attended.

“On an off year, we may have around 800 students attend,” Tumbarello said. “On a busy year, we can have up to 1,300 students.”

The program began in 1998 as a resident assistant training program and the Office of Residence Life decided it would be beneficial for all students to go through.

One major change made from 2009 is a passive room added to the beginning of the program.

“Instead of people standing in line waiting to enter the program, there will be tables from other groups on campus not represented in Boxes and Walls to be able to take advantage of the program,” Tumbarello said. “Each of the groups is important, but the program is already long enough. If it gets too long, people won’t come and the value of the program is lost.”

Tumbarello said it is important in today’s global economy for students to gain a more diverse experience before venturing out into the workplace.

The program runs from 6-10 p.m. on Feb 14-17 in Esker Hall.

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Comments (2)

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  • C

    concerned studentFeb 15, 2011 at 6:27 am

    Excuse me Mr. Brown, this program is highly successful in opening the eyes of students on the Whitewater campus. Maybe you should go through the program, it may open your eyes to how great the program is. Also I would like to correct your comment about it coming every year. The truth is that it comes every other year. If you had a suggestion for a new program maybe you could discuss this with the proper authority. I would be willing to bet that the person would be more than willing to listen to your input.

  • J

    John BrownFeb 13, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Not again. Bring something new. This program comes every year.

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Founded 1901
Program focuses on oppression