Safe Zone Project
What is the purpose of the Safe Zone Project?
The Safe Zone project seeks to create a safer and more inclusive environment for all members of the campus community by reducing heterosexism, homophobia, and transphobia. Through the training program and the display of Safe Zone stickers, the project creates a visible and supportive network of allies within the campus community who have basic knowledge about issues of sexual orientation and gender identity. Participating in the Safe Zone project indicates willingness and commitment to provide an atmosphere of inclusion, acceptance, and assistance that is free of judgment. The choice to post a Safe Zone sticker is a decision to make a visible statement that others can easily identify.
Why do we need a Safe Zone Project at OSU?
The Ohio State University and the surrounding Central Ohio community are proud of the area's diverse population and support cultural diversity in every possible way. The Safe Zone Project is a visual way of combating homophobia, heterosexism and transphobia. Research indicates that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer, (LGBTQ) students find many campus climates to be uninviting or even hostile. In addition, LGBTQ students often have to deal with verbal or physical harassment, both on and off campus property. This hostile environment complicates attempts at fostering student development, both academically and personally. The Multicultural Center's Safe Zone Project is a way for us to reach out proactively to people and provide a safer, more comfortable and open atmosphere for all members of our community.
Do I have to be LGBTQ to become involved in the project?
Displaying the Safe Zone sticker does not mean that an individual is LGBTQ identifying; it simply means they are open minded and in support of recognizing and embracing of all of the diversity that encompasses our campus and Central Ohio community.
What does it mean if I see a Safe Zone Sticker displayed on campus?
A Safe Zone sticker or magnet signifies that the occupant of that space has chosen to educate themselves about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer issues. It means that they have attended the required training session sponsored by the Multicultural Center and have information on campus and local community resources. It also means that they have dedicated themselves to providing support and a safe learning environment where homophobia, heterosexism and transphobia will not be tolerated.
What do people involved in the project do?
Individuals involved in the project agree to keep themselves educated on issues facing the LGBTQ community and to take an active stance in combating discrimination in all its forms. Members of the program believe that the campus and community are enriched by the presence of diversity and are dedicated to helping LGBTQ individuals find the support they might want or need while at Ohio State. These individuals are aware of their actions as well as those around them and help others become educated on diversity issues as a whole.
How do I get involved with the Safe Zone Project?
The first stage of becoming involved in the project is having an open mind. From there, attending one of the training sessions (offered four times a year) from the Multicultural Center will allow you to become a member of the project. You can also schedule a session specifically for your department, organization, class, or residence hall. The training is free and usually takes about two and a half hours.