Safe Space Program Impact

LGBTQ Students/Colleagues

Instills feeling of affirmation and support, promotes visibility of LGBTQ students at the institution, increases sense of safety for those who are closeted to come out, encourages more meaningful and authentic dialogue with heterosexual peers/colleagues, conveys a sense of validation of their experiences and needs, heightens the awareness of both supportive and unsupportive attitudes amongst those around them.

Heterosexual Students/Colleagues

Increases awareness of LGBTQ people and their experiences, increases awareness and confidence in one’s own gender and sexuality,  promotes meaningful dialogue about LGBTQ topics, encourages behavioral and attitude changes-including awareness of stereotypes/damaging language and homophobic attitudes, increases interest in the topic, promotes relationship-building with other ally-minded peers/colleagues, empowers students/colleagues to make a statement about their support of LGBTQ Communities, promotes freer and more confident gestures of advocacy (interrupting discriminatory policies, including LGBTQ topics in course materials, standing up for a peer/colleagues).

The Institution

Can affect the institutional image as a progressive environment and can lead to the perception of a safer, more affirming environment for current and prospective students. Gives the institution a concrete method to realize institutional values of diversity and global awareness. 

Campus Climate

Increases visibility of LGBTQ communities, raises consciousness of the need for affirming spaces, increases the perception of a supportive environment for LGBTQ students, changes attitudes (noticing and challenging homophobia/transphobia, questioning one’s privilege, promoting/destigmatizing allyship), promotes a more engaging learning environment for all students, promotes growth of the Safe Space Program

Sources

Nancy Evans (2002) The Impact of an LGBT Safe Zone Project on Campus Climate, Iowa State University
Rhoads, RA (1997). Implications of the growing visibility of gay and bisexual male students on campus. NASPA Journal, 34 (4), 275-286.
Bruno, Mathew,  (2009) The Impact of GMUs Safe Zone Program. Diversity at Mason: Student Research on Student Identity, Chapter 8.
Wells, Brian. (2009) Safe Zone Assessment.  Thiel College and Youngstown State University.
Poynter, K. & Lewis, E. (2003) SAFE on campus assessment report. Durham, NC: Duke University, Center for LGBT Life. Poynter, K. & Lewis, E. (2003) SAFE on campus assessment report. Durham, NC: Duke University, Center for LGBT Life.