What is Safe Zone?
Safe Zone is a program that appears on campuses across the nation and its mission is to “promote a welcoming, inclusive, and emotionally as well as physically safe environment for LGBTQIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, questioning) students, faculty, and staff through developing a network of allies who have been trained in LGBTQIQ issues.” In addition, the program is aimed at decreasing homophobia and heterosexism by increasing ally awareness of its presence and potential impact on people in our community.
Some of the goals of Safe Zone include:
- To promote a welcoming and inclusive campus community for LGBTQIQ individuals.
- To train and maintain 10-15 Safe Zone Trainers who will be certified to conduct Safe Zone workshops on campus.
- To train individual students, faculty, and staff as Safe Zone allies to they may serve as resources for members of the campus community.
Safe Zone at MSU is being implemented by Counseling and Psychological Services and the Diversity Awareness Office. We now have a core group of Safe Zone trainers consisting of students, staff, and faculty that are available for workshops. They are joint trainers for those departments and groups that request educational training on LGBTQIQ issues.
Why Safe Zone?
According to GLSEN’s 2009 National School Climate Survey, 9 of 10 LGBT students in middle school and high school experienced harassment at school in the past year and nearly two-thirds felt unsafe because of their sexual orientation. Nearly a third of LGBT students skipped at least one day of school in the past month because of safety concerns.These issues don't stop because students enter college. Reasearch also indicates that students who can identify a supportive faculty/staff member or student group are more likely to feel a sense of belonging at their schools than those who cannot. For many students, the presence of allies to whom they can turn for support—or even the simple knowledge that allies exist— can be a critical factor in developing a positive sense of self, building community, coping with bias, and working to improve school climate. Safe Zone programs therefore seek to increase the visible presence of student and adult allies who can help to shape a school culture that is accepting of all people regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, or any other difference.
Upcoming Trainings and Workshops:
General Safe Zone Workshops
Tuesday April 19, 2011
Strand Union Room 233
click here to RSVP or to request a training for your group or department.
LGBTQIQ Resources - click here
Safe Zone Trainers
Mariah Hill Counseling & Psychological Services
Phenocia Baurele Diversity Awareness Office
Tricia Rabel Assistant Director of Residence Life
Mandy St. Aubyn Office for Community Involvement
Jamie McBride Counseling & Psychological Services
Amanda Menge-Tebay Resident Director, Hapner Hall
Cheryl Polacek Office of Student Activities
Laura Moran Student, QSA President
Alanna Sherstad VOICE Center
Emily Edwards University Studies
Greg Merchant Mechanical & Engineering Department
Patty McGown Office of Student Activities
Sam Schwartz Counseling & Psychological Services
Aaron Estrada Counseling & Psychological Services
Aaron Grusonik Counseling & Psychological Services
Megan Selheim VOICE Center
Adam Arlint VOICE Center
Thomas Wells VOICE Center
Interested in becoming a trainer or would like more information about the program? Please click here.
For more information on the Safe Zone Foundation, click here.