Safe Zone Training
Act with compassion, respect, and dignity.
What is Safe Zone?
The Safe Zone Project, through education, advocacy, visibility, and skill development, supports faculty and staff to become allies for GLBTQIA students and colleagues. The Project is designed to radically reduce prejudice and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression at the University of Washington campus and create a safe and affirming campus.
The Safe Zone symbol provides a message to students and colleagues that the person displaying the symbol is a person who has completed the Safe Zone training, has decided to be an active and visible ally, can be trusted to maintain confidentiality, and will respond to the individual with understanding, support, and empathy. If a student seeks help, advice, or just someone with whom s/he/ze can talk, s/he/ze can expect to be met with openness and respect.
Please keep in mind that Safe Zone Trainings are 3 hours in length.
Basic information on human sexuality, sexual and gender orientation, sexual and gender identity, and sexual and gender expression. Many of the “I-should-have-known-that” kinds of questions are discussed in a learner-friendly welcoming atmosphere. You will confront your internalized homophobia/heterosexism (we all have it, we are trained to have it!). You will become familiar with the “tools” of an ally, which will help you to create safer, more affirming spaces for all your students and colleagues.
Safe Zone Guidelines
Respect each individual’s privacy. We are asking you to keep contacts confidential.
Avoid labeling. Use the vocabulary the individual uses: If the individual says “queer, gay, Two-Spirit, lesbian, bisexual,” or “trans” use the term they use. Use language that reflects where the student is in their development. (Example: A student may be exploring his/her sexuality/gender identity and may not identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or trans even though she/he is engaging in same-sex relationships or exploring gender roles, expression, and identity.
Be an advocate, advisor, teacher, or mentor to students who seek your support. And, maintain clear and professional boundaries.
Refer students for counseling when appropriate. If a student is experiencing psychological distress and is having difficulty coping, suggest that counseling may be helpful to him/her. A good guideline for you to use: If you are feeling overwhelmed or worried about a student, then they are likely feeling much the same and it is a good idea to refer them to the Student Counseling Center.
Please inform the Student Life if you are leaving the University, changing offices or address, or want to withdraw from the program.
Do not share or provide your Safe Zone Symbol or sticker with friends or colleagues that are not part of the Project.
As a participant in Safe Zone you are agreeing to be an ally to GLBTQIA students on campus. The symbol represents your agreement to create in your classroom, office, residence hall, or other space on campus a safe, supportive environment in which all students belong and are treated with respect.