The GLBTA Resource Center launched Safe Space 2.0 in October to provide more in-depth education on LGBT topics not covered in ongoing, general Safe Space training sessions.
Safe Space 2.0 has had two sessions so far.
The GLBTA Resource Center chose the topics covered in Safe Space 2.0 based on requests made by participants in the Safe Space Sticker Workshop.
“Having this program allows us to go deeper into some of these topics,” said Matthew Bruno, the Program Coordinator for the GLBTA Resource Center.
During the first session, held Oct. 28, attendees discussed ways to combat homophobia and heterosexism on campus.
The second session took place Nov. 12, and speakers from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and The Center for American Progress covered issues regarding national and federal LGBT policy.
The activities varied from session to session, Bruno said.
The first session was interactive with white boards and big pieces of butcher paper for participants to write on, he said.
The second session on LGBT policy was structured as a question and answer session.
The original Safe Space program was created in the early ’90s and to create a more positive campus environment by reducing heterosexism, homophobia and transphobia.
Those who passed the program were given “Safe Space” stickers to post around campus to visibly show support for the LGBT community and identify those who could act as a source of knowledge of and help for LGBT issues.
Safe Space 2.0 sessions have been well attended so far, with 10 people attending the first session and 15 at the second, Bruno said. Audiences have included a mix of students, faculty and staff.
“You don’t have to go through the initial three-hour Safe Space trainings to go to these programs,” said Bruno, “but they start where the Safe Space program leaves off.”
The goals of this new program are the same as those of the original Safe Space program: to make the campus more LGBTA-inclusive, said Director of GLBTA Resource Center Sara Bendoraitis.
“I think it’s a program to meet people where they are and continue their education,” Bendoraitis said. “And we hope that it will improve the campus climate.”
Rachel Lachenauer, a senior in the School of Public Affairs who works at the GLBTA Resource Center, is working with Bruno to develop the Safe Space 2.0 program.
“We tried to figure out what the goals were, and how to bring in topics that people find interesting,” Lachenauer said.
Lachenauer and Bruno also took into account input from those who had gone through the initial Safe Space program, Lachenauer said.
“I think [the program is] really great,” Lachenauer said. “There seems to be a lot of interest and people seem to be really wanting to have sessions on more specific topics,” she said.
A previous version of this article incorrectly said AU’s Communications and Marketing office hopes to start Safe Space 2.0. The GLBTA Resource Center launched Safe Space 2.0.