Screen readers: Two navigational links to follow.Skip to site navigation.Skip to page content.
The University of Iowa News Services
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 19, 2007

Photos from “Boxes and Walls 2006” which covered the topic of gender.

'Boxes and Walls' Tours Feb. 25-27 At Quadrangle Hall

From Feb. 25 to Feb. 27, University Housing's Office of Residence Life will present "Boxes and Walls," an interactive, emotional and educational tour staged in Quadrangle Hall at the University of Iowa. The multi-media exhibit is designed to raise awareness about diversity and give participants an up-close and personal experience of everyday stereotypes and discrimination.

"Boxes and Walls" incorporates a variety of media, including informational displays, role-playing and actors to convey messages about diversity topics, often placing viewers in hypothetical situations they might face. These topics are sensitive in nature and intended for a mature audience. The three areas for 2007 are:

--Immigration. This area will cover a range of issues including human trafficking, education, economics, and border control. Participants will have the opportunity to see immigration from multiple perspectives and experiences.

--White privilege. The goal of the white privilege topic area is to open the eyes of participants about things in society and everyday life that Caucasians take for granted, and how these can in turn become obstacles for people of other races.

--Socio-economics. This presentation will touch on the issues of college admissions, welfare, poverty and classism.

Each topic area will be divided into three to four sub-areas. "Boxes and Walls" will take place from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 25; 6 to 10 p.m. Monday, Feb. 26; and 6 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27. Visitors during these hours may receive a guided, one-hour tour. The last tour for each day will start about one hour prior to the stated closing time. The event is free.

"Boxes and Walls" was first held at the UI in February 2006 and focused on the topics of gender, religion and disabilities. The "Boxes and Walls" concept was started at the University of Wisconsin and has since been adopted by many colleges and universities across the county.

"University Housing is looking forward to offering the university community the opportunity to participate in 'Boxes and Walls' for a second year," said Kate Sojka, student development coordinator in University Housing's Office of Residence Life. "We already have been fortunate to work with a variety of students, and employees in the planning stages. This project really offers participants a different vehicle to explore themes of diversity."

Several UI students who saw "Boxes and Walls 2006" were impressed and learned some lessons about diversity. Lauren Adams, a junior studio art and Spanish major, went on last year's tour, which covered disability issues. She discovered how difficult it is to power a wheelchair on sanded icy sidewalks.

Jacques Bouchard, a fifth-year microbiology and biochemistry major, said the exhibit was one of the best events put on at the UI.

"Although the subject matter is sometimes hard to deal with, I believe that the way that each subject is analyzed and discussed is geared to learning how you can make a difference in the world," Bouchard said. "Also, I thought the interactive walk-through helped build an atmosphere of individual learning and personal development."

Tess Feldman, a junior with Spanish and international business majors and a resident assistant for the Honors Learning Community in Daum Hall, added, "I was so grateful to be a part of this project last year. Being able to experience challenging and interesting information in such a concentrated environment was invaluable. 'Boxes and Walls' provided eye-opening experiences in a comfortable, safe, yet challenging way that catered to the learning styles and interests of today's university students. It was fun, provocative and one of the best volunteer experiences I've had on campus."

A short film featuring "Boxes and Walls 2006" may be viewed on the University Housing website at

The Office of Residence Life needs volunteer tour guides and actors to support "Boxes and Walls 2007." Volunteer shifts are approximately two to three hours long and no experience is needed. Volunteers will need to attend a 30-minute orientation to learn about their duties.

To volunteer or for more information, contact Kate Sojka at 319-335-3700 or

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: George McCrory, 319-384-0012,; Program: Kate Sojka at 319-335-3700 or