School of Communication Studies Hosted Safe Space: Ally Training 101
The School of Communication Studies hosted Safe Space: Ally Training 101 for faculty, staff and graduate students in the College of Communication and Information. More than 30 CCI members attended the session Wednesday presented by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Student Center of Kent State University. CCI is the first academic unit to offer the training, according to Amanda Leu, Safe Space facilitator and academic advisor for the School of Communication Studies.
Leu and Ken Ditlevson, Director of the LGBTQ Student Center, presented the training session as part of an on-going series to make Kent State and its communities a safer place for all people regardless of sex or gender. Training participants learned about bias, stereotypes, current vocabulary and best practices to assist lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer students seeking support and reaffirmation of their role and place at Kent State. The LGBTQ Student Center is a part of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
“Whether we are faculty, staff or advisors, we want to see our students succeed. This training is designed to increase everyone’s comfort level in how we can all communicate with each other, and in turn develop an increased awareness of the services on campus and in the greater Kent-Akron community that support LGBTQ people,” Leu said.
The four-hour session included discussion and activities that covered personal biases and stereotypes, dispelled myths about the LGBTQ community, terminology that establishes a level of respect, tips for being a Safe Space Ally and the number of services and agencies on campus and in the surrounding area that are available to support and assist LGBTQ individuals.
“These services and agencies provide a support system for students, especially for those who have been subjected to rejection, scorn or assault when coming out or being recognized as part of the LGBTQ community,” Leu said.
Safe Space Ally participants can display a Safe Space Ally sign designating their work area as a safe space and identifying themselves as a contact for LGBTQ students who need resources, support, connections and counseling.
For information on the LGBTQ Student Center and Safe Space trainings, please call (330) 672-8580 or email LGBTQSC@kent.edu. An open-registration training will be held Dec. 3 from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. in the Center for Undergraduate Excellence rooms 141 and 143. Interested individuals will be able to register on the Human Resources website in the Beyond Compliance training section.