Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean to be a Safe Zone member?

A Safe Zone member is a person who has voluntarily decided to become a visible ally for all LGBTQ people on campus. Members have undergone a three-hour workshop to build on their knowledge and awareness of issues within the LGBTQ community; reflect on their own personal assumptions, biases and beliefs; and gain tools in how to create a safe space for members of the LGBTQ community as well as other allies. Safe Zone members are also committed to providing appropriate information and assistance regarding LGBTQ interests, issues and concerns.

Who can become a member of Safe Zone?

Any student, staff or faculty member is free to become a Safe Zone member. Individuals must complete a three-hour workshop offered at multiple times during the year. Upcoming workshop dates will be updated on this website or you can contact the Safe Zone Coordinator (s) at safezone@wwu.edu if you are interested in setting up a customized workshop for your specific department.

What does it mean if I see a Safe Zone symbol displayed?

A Safe Zone symbol identifies the person as someone who has chosen to educate themselves about LGBTQ issues and has information about local resources. A person displaying a Safe Zone decal has been through a workshop and is committed to creating an inclusive environment for students, staff, and faculty who identify as LGBTQ. The Safe Zone symbol communicates a message of understanding, non-judgment and knowledge of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer persons' needs and concerns.

Do I already need to know about LGBTQ resources to join?

Members of Safe Zone need only to be open and supportive to the needs of LGBTQ individuals and willing to learn about issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity.

Do I have to identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer to join Safe Zone?

No. Anyone, regardless of sexual or gender identity or expression, is welcome to become a Safe Zone ally. In fact, non-LGBTQ safe zone allies are vital to the success of the program. Displaying the Safe Zone symbol does not mean that you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer.

Who is involved in bringing back the Safe Zone program?

The rekindling of the program is an effort of a Safe Zone sub-committee stemming from the LGBT Advocacy Council partnered with WWU’s Queer Resource Center. The Safe Zone sub-committee, composed of students, staff and faculty, started meeting in the Spring 2011 in a response to increase publicity surrounding the suicides of individuals who were bullied as a result of their sexual or gender identity.

Page Updated 03.26.2012