In this day and age, it is a sad reality that discrimination and prejudice still exists and people still fight for equality and rights.
These issues exist in the GLBT or Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, and Bisexual community. Not everyone is accepting or even tolerant of the differences of people in the GLBT community, and raising awareness of this and putting a stop to it can be difficult.
Fortunately, many universities throughout the country, including Bridgewater State University are working to address these issues. One such way is with the safe zone training program brought to campus by the pride center, which is a program to raise awareness and help to gather support for GLBT students.
The message of the safe zone training is a strong one: I not only tolerate other GLBT students, but I accept them. I am there to listen, provide a safe place, and show my support.
This message is contagious as many organizations, clubs, and residence halls here at Bridgewater State have worked with the help of the pride center to organize their own safe zone trainings.
“I have been safe zone trained and it was really eye opening,” said sophomore Michelle Osowski, who is also a resident assistant in Scott Hall. “Safe zone training to me means that individuals will be trained to create safe places for people in the GLBT community. This is really important because not every person has a safe place where they can talk or hang out.”
Becca Driscoll is a special education and sociology major and shares similar feelings similar to Osowski.
“I think it’s a great program,” Driscoll said. “It is part of what makes BSU such a welcoming community. It not only allows students who are afraid and nervous to come out, a place to talk and feel welcomed, but it is also informative to students who are not aware of struggles faced by young GLBT students. All in all, I believe this program is nothing but positive and a helpful source of comfort here on campus.”
Safe zone training is built on a commitment to provide support for others. It is a program that raises awareness for the hardships of GLBT students, and it gives faculty and other students the resources and education to support these students and help stop discrimination when possible. Above everything else, it provides GLBT students with an ally.
The faculty and students that go through safe zone training can pledge to become an ally for the GLBT students. They can show their support with a placard that they can put on the door of their office or dorm room.
Morgayne Mulkern is a Comment staff writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.