Safe Zone promotes safe environment

By Michelle Costa
October 29, 2009

To promote a safe environment for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and questioning students, the Office of Diversity Initiatives held another Safe Zone workshop to train faculty and staff to promote an environment that is safe for all.

Melissa Waters, director of student diversity initiatives, conducted this training on Friday, Oct. 23 in Grace Hall. The participants of the Safe Zone gathered to learn how to accept and to become better allies of LBGTQ students.

The members that joined the training are those who are supporters of the LBGTQ. As a result of the training, staff becomes a qualified and certified member to the Safe Zone, where people can freely come express feelings or problems.

“Safe Zone training is designed to reduce prejudice and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression and create a safe and affirming campus,” Waters said.

Training is held once per semester.

“After the training, participants receive a Cabrini Safe Zone sticker that is identifiable to students who may be looking for someone to talk to or trying to figure which people on campus are ‘safe’ to be open with,” Waters said.

Waters said that it is a great advantage for some students to know that there are people affiliated with the school that are willing to listen and help with specific needs.

Waters finds the turnout for the past semesters to be certainly uplifting and successful. More staff is finding it important to become involved and serve as an outlet for those who are in need of guidance and direction.

“Students tell me that they are noticing the stickers more and more,” Waters said.

Waters hopes to make this an ongoing process that will become a permanent tradition on campus. More people need to become aware of the services that are provided and should share the benefits and opportunities.

“This has given me a place where I can be myself, believe in myself and ultimately respect the outmost advice and support of a professional,” a student who did not want her name to be mentioned, said.

For any questions or concerns, be sure to visit Waters in her office in the Widener Building or email her at

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Michelle Costa

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