Department - Author 1

Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies Program

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Environmental Management and Protection



Primary Advisor

Jane Lehr


This project defines “The Rape Tunnel” problem. Before beginning the research portion of this project, background information is provided to the intended audience so that anyone reading the document can get up to speed with understandings within social justice, stakeholder histories, Indigenous perspectives, and the history of getting the project approved. From there the paper moves into a lab repot with findings that reveal a tunnel (designed as a storm drain for hundred year peak flows) is frequently being used by Cal Poly students as a walkway to campus. Also, students commonly refer to the space as “The Rape Tunnel.” Survey responses further indicate that feelings of safety while using the space are not uniform across responses. Rather, feelings of safety vary depending on demographic data. Women at the intersections of disempowered identities felt the least safe in the space. After comparing western and Indigenous perspectives, the responses show that people walking through the space feel unsafe due to aspects of their identity rather than consequences of taboo actions. With the findings in mind, alternatives and follow up work to “The Rape Tunnel” problem are offered at the end of the document.