Campus community opens up safe spaces for LGBTQ

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Campus community opens up safe spaces for LGBTQ

Austin Loukas

Austin Loukas

Austin Loukas

Campus Interfaith coordinator Caitlin Czeh is one of several staff certified as Safe

Holly Boyer, Assistant Life Editor

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Everyone needs a place that they can feel secure, safe, and respected no matter who they are. Now staff and students are taking the initiative get training and incorporate safe spaces on campus for the LGBTQ community.

“The goal of Wilkes Safe Space training is to educate interested members of the Wilkes community about LGBTQ issues and needs and to provide information about how to support our LGBTQ students,” assistant professor of English and advisor of the Gay -Straight Alliance Dr. Helen Davis.

The three hour long training sessions are voluntarily open to all faculty, staff and students interested. During the sessions participants are informed about terminology, such as slang words that are okay to use and which ones are not okay to use. They also include exercises to build empathy and identification, and role-playing scenarios.

Upon completing the training members receive a sticker with the Safe Space logo on it that they can post up anywhere as an indicator that he or she has been trained and is approachable without any judgments or fear of no confidentiality.  The sticker that they receive is the logo of the Safe Spaces that is currently being finalized and will be revealed this coming spring.

“Having Safe Spaces builds that resource, and it helps to cultivate understanding. It’s building that second support network, or any support network for those who may not have one,” sophomore English major and president of GSA Carrol says.

Davissays incorporating Safe Spaces around campus shows the importance of the matter as well as promoting confidentiality and trust with issues or difficulties about anything students may come across.

“Enhancing the knowledge of LGBTQ issues on campus and visibly increasing the support base on campus is good for all of our students regardless of whether they are a member of the GSA because it is in the best interest of the entire campus to create a positive, supportive environment for all of our community members,”Davissays.

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