In an effort to provide support to lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) community, the Dean of Students Office has created Safe Zone. Safe Zone provides students, faculty and staff the opportunity to create safe spaces on campus that are highly visible and easily identifiable to lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) persons. These Safe Zones are spaces where support and understanding are readily available and bigotry and discrimination are not tolerated.
Members display a Safe Zone symbol that provides a visible, non-threatening way to demonstrate their acceptance of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) individuals. The Safe Zone symbol is a rainbow triangle. This identifies the person as someone who has chosen to educate themselves about LGBTQ+ issues and has information about local resources. Displaying this emblem designates a place where LGBTQ+ individuals can feel safe. Displaying the Safe Zone symbol does NOT mean that you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer or that you will participate in any LGBTQ+ activities. It implies your support for such individuals. All Safe Zone participants have attended a training session before joining the program to assist them in their efforts to support LGBTQ+ individuals.
Any Illinois State student, faculty or staff member interested and willing to be an ally can join Safe Zone. Members of Safe Zone need to be open-minded, supportive of the needs of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) individuals, and willing to learn about issues related to sexual orientation.
All Safe Zone members agree to be respectful of and develop an understanding of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) individuals. Members also commit to continually educating themselves on LGBTQ+ issues and are willing to support LGBTQ+ individuals, as well as other Safe Zone members. Members also agree to be a resource to LGBTQ+ individuals, as well as to make appropriate referrals when overwhelmed or not able to assist an individual.
Lastly, and most importantly, because of the influence Safe Zone has on the lives of LGBTQ+ persons, student members of Safe Zone may make an impact in the life of a LGBTQ+ person, and may never know the extent of it.
For more information, email Safe Zone at firstname.lastname@example.org.