Scary Sustainability

Ashley Thorne

The University of Texas-Arlington is putting on a campus event called "Sustainability Shock Shack" this Wednesday. According to the UTA sustainability blog:

“Scary” images resulting from human carelessness and displays of the “good” and “evil” of waste set the tone for the Sustainability Shock Shack, an awareness event planned for 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, at the Central Library mall. The event aims to increase awareness of global environmental issues and inform about the University’s commitment to sustainability via the efforts of the President’s Sustainability Committee. Inside the Sustainability Shock Shack, visitors will find information on environmental action, giveaways, candy, door prizes and how to get involved on campus.

Apparently the planning committee is gettting academic credit for putting on the event "as part of a project in Shelley Wigley’s public relations campaigns class." The Sustainability Shock Shack reminds me of the legendary Tunnels of Oppression that normally take place on campuses before Halloween. A tunnel is typically set up as a sort of gallery for visitors to walk through. It often contains skits that portray disturbing scenes of “the dirtiest, ugliest, bloodiest issues” such as rape, KKK threats, and violence toward homosexuals. Tunnels of Oppression borrow the concept of a haunted house to scare participants into social change. The Sustainability Shock Shack seems to have similar aims.  Its creation is a sign of the times. Oppression used to be scary, but now we terrify ourselves with the prospect of "human carelessness."

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