Safe Zone FAQs
What is Safe Zone-WVU?
Safe Zone is a program designed to identify individuals on the WVU campus who consider themselves to be open to and knowledgeable about LGBTQ issues. Members display a Safe Zone symbol to demonstrate their acceptance of LGBTQ individuals.
Why do we have Safe Zone?
West Virginia University is proud of its increasingly diverse population and is committed to developing and sustaining a campus community which feels safe and celebratory for all its members. Safe Zone is a tangible way to demonstrate that all sexual orientations and gender presentations are part of our culture and are acknowledged and supported.
What does it mean if I see a Safe Zone sticker displayed?
A Safe Zone symbol identifies members of our campus community who have chosen to educate themselves about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning issues and have information about local resources. Safe Zone symbols help convey a message that the person displaying the symbol is supportive, trustworthy, and sensitive to the needs and concerns of LGBTQ individuals. In addition, the symbol indicates that all viewpoints regarding sexual orientation and gender identity will be addressed in an educational, informative, and non-threatening manner. The symbol is not an indication of a person’s sexual orientation or any particular moral or political viewpoint—it merely states he or she wants to ensure LGBTQ individuals at WVU are free to be full members of the community.
Do I already need to know about the LGBTQ resources to join?
Members of Safe Zone need only to be open-minded and supportive to the needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning individuals, and be willing to learn about issues related to sexual orientation.
Do I have to be LGBTQ to join Safe Zone?
Displaying the Safe Zone symbol does NOT mean that you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or questioning, or that you will participate in any LGBTQ activities. Displaying the symbol does communicate your willingness to foster an atmosphere of support and celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning individuals on the WVU campus.
What do Safe Zone members do?
Members agree to be respectful of and develop an understanding of LGBTQ individuals and commit to educating themselves on LGBTQ issues. Safe Zone members also agree to be a resource to LGBTQ individuals, as well as make appropriate referrals. Safe Zone members agree to maintain confidentiality at work and actively use inclusive language, avoid stereotyping, and do not assume heterosexuality. Lastly, and most importantly, Safe Zone members may make a difference in someone’s life and possibly never know about it.
How do I join Safe Zone?
Interested students, faculty, and staff can email Safe Zone at LGBTQ.wvu.edu to request information regarding the next Safe Zone training opportunity.
What are the goals of Safe Zone?
Create a campus culture and climate that is more welcoming to and affirming of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning students, faculty and staff, and their families.
Establish a University-wide network of visible allies and mentors who can provide support, information, and assistance to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning students, faculty, and staff.
Provide lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning campus members comfortable access to trustworthy, knowledgeable and sensitive people who can provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment.
Provide an opportunity for WVU students, faculty, and staff to demonstrate their support for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning.
Provide all on-campus students an opportunity to respond to instances of discrimination and harassment based on perceived or self-reported sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
Educate members of the University community on the needs and concerns of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning students.
Foster a campus atmosphere which supports the academic and professional success of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning students, as well as their personal and social growth.
Advance the University’s progress towards a campus that discourages discrimination and openly celebrates diversity.