Cleveland State University's Safe Space Program strives to improve visibility and support to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and questioning (LGBTQ) students.
While other minority individuals can often identify role models and mentors, the invisibility of sexual orientation makes it very difficult for LGBTQ students to ascertain where they can safely turn for support and information. The Safe Space program provides these students with access to and recognition of individuals of all sexual orientations and gender identities who are available to aid LGBTQ students in making connections with the resources available to them at Cleveland State University, in the greater Cleveland community, and across the nation.
Displaying the Safe Space symbol is a message to LGBTQ students and colleagues that a Cleveland State University faculty or staff member has received the Safe Space resource manual and is committed to increasing their knowledge of, and sensitivity to LGBTQ issues. The Safe Space symbol is not a statement regarding the sexual orientation or gender identity of the person displaying the symbol, nor is it merely a reflection of political correctness.
Rather, the Safe Space symbol allows students in the campus community to identify Safe Space program members and know they can speak freely with these individuals about issues, including sexual orientation and gender identity. Safe Space members will be able to listen to concerns and provide assistance, including referrals as needed, to appropriate individuals and agencies.
Since the Safe Space program also strives to enhance the campus climate for LGBTQ individuals, the symbol also means that Safe Space members will challenge homophobic and heterosexist comments or behaviors as they arise, and do so in an educational and informative manner.
All of these efforts give fuller effect to Cleveland State University's nondiscrimination policy, which reads in relevant part: "No person will be denied opportunity for employment or education or be subject to discrimination in any project, program or activity because of …sexual orientation."
Additional information with be forthcoming.
Student Safe Space
The purpose of Cleveland State University’s Student Safe Space Program is to create visible peer support and awareness of, for, and among gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) students.
The Student Safe Space program provides for easy recognition of individuals who are supporters of LGBTQ students and who can help give some information and resources, but who can also direct students to LGBTQ Student Services within the Office of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement. The Student Safe Space symbol is a message to LGBTQ students that a Cleveland State University student is committed to increasing their knowledge of and sensitivity to LGBTQ issues.
The Student Safe Space symbol allows the campus community to identify program members and know they can speak freely with these individuals about issues, including sexual orientation and gender identity, which may affect their academic success and personal comfort level with the education they are receiving at Cleveland State University. The Student Safe Space program strives to improve the campus climate for LGBTQ individuals through students challenging homophobic and heterosexist comments or behaviors in an educational and informative manner.
Why is there a need for Student Safe Space?
To join the Safe Space Program, contact the Office of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement 216.687.9335.