LGBT Center to offer Safe Zone training Tuesday

Gabrielle Buffington, Staff Reporter

The Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center will be offering a training session to students, faculty and staff members interested in becoming Safe Zone trained. Any interested party must attend one of two upcoming workshops. The first will occur Tuesday, Feb. 25 from 9 a.m. to noon and the second will occur the same day between 1 to 4 p.m. Both sessions will take place in the 1914 Lounge of Thwing Center.

It is estimated that there are 1550 people on campus who identify as LGBT. It can be difficult for someone to come out and express his/her feelings if the person does not know who to trust with this sensitive and personal information, which is why Safe Zone members are crucial to making LGBT individuals feel respected. A Safe Zone member is a person who has voluntarily decided to become a visible ally for all LGBT people on campus. Anyone, regardless of sex or orientation, can be an ally.

The duty of an ally is to support people (sometimes strangers) when they share their personal lives with the Safe Zone member. Studies have shown that a number of hate crimes are usually initiated because of one’s sexual preference, and some LGBT individuals who felt targeted and helpless were 5 times more likely to have attempted suicide. Having volunteers in place that can show respect towards those in need could help prevent dangerous behavior like this from manifesting in the LGBT community.

An RSVP is required to attend one of the session for becoming an ally, and it can be sent to Indicate which session you would like to attend and whether you are a faculty member, a staff member or a student. A group or department on campus can also be a part of the session, with the help of Safe Zone Coordinator Elisabeth “Liz” Roccoforte.

For more information, reach Roccoforte at or (216)368-3206, or visit