Salt Lake Community College students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ) can face unique challenges.
Even though the national rhetoric is becoming more and more progressive, many students and groups of students feel uncomfortable or unsafe on campus. As a result, SLCC implemented Safe Zone training in an attempt to create a more comfortable atmosphere for any student that is a part of the LGBTQ community.
“Of course, from a college standpoint, students should be treated that way anyway, but the reality of our state culture doesn’t always create safe zones for the queer community,” says LGBTQ committee co-chair Elisa Stone.
Safe zones are marked with a placard outside the office door of staff or faculty. In these areas, an SLCC employee is trained and prepared to handle any student questions or concerns. These individuals can also give advice, offer sympathy and discuss other resources.
How Safe Zone training works
The first training focuses on awareness. Trainees learn what it means to be LGBTQ and the kind of struggles these students may face on and off campus. This lesson also covers the laws, social movements and history affecting the LGBTQ community.
The second training explores the concept of safe zones and how employees can produce a comfortable space for students. Other references in this lesson include the Student Code of Conduct and what resources are available to students.
Any SLCC employee who completes the first two stages of training will become Safe Zone certified and receive a placard to place outside their workspace.
The final stage of training involves a more in-depth review of the issues of discrimination and the remedies for such issues. Individuals who finish this lesson will be considered qualified not only to facilitate a Safe Zone, but also to train other employees.