On Thursday, April 7th, more than 30 students, faculty and staff members spent their lunchtime in a Safe Space Training and Certification Workshop. Facilitators included Dr. Bruce Menapace of the CSU Counseling Center and Lauren Davis, Honors College Advisor and Queer Student Alliance Advisor. The pair co-presented a 90-minute overview of the many topics related to creating an educated and supportive campus climate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and questioning members of the CSU community.
From hate crimes to harassment, Dr. Menapace explained how Safe Space education serves to reduce the amount of discrimination and promotes inclusivity of all persons. Workshop participants learned about myths and realities, and they gained an understanding of pertinent vocabulary used in how individuals define themselves. Creating a climate of acceptance and engagement gives allies a way to show respect and compassion and the visible Safe Space signage contributes not only to a supportive environment but also to increased student success. Detailed Safe Space Training Manuals and Safe Space signs were distributed for posting in attendee workspaces, labs, and offices across campus. The signs themselves provide a visible network of support locations for LGBTQ students, allies, and all members of campus who are interested in creating a safe space.
In February, CSU gained national ranking as a Top 20 Great Value Colleges for its Safe Space Program (which seeks to improve visibility and support to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and questioning [LGBTQ] students) and the Mother’s Room run by the Mareyjoyce Green Women’s Center (which provides a safe and secure area for nursing mothers).
The collaborative training workshop offered by the Counseling Center, Graduate Student Resource Center, Graduate Student Association (GSA), and the Division of Student Affairs was presented as part of the 2016 Graduate Student Appreciation Week schedule.