Allies on Campus: Providing Support to LGBT Students

== Purpose == Allies on Campus is a network of faculty, staff, and students who: (1) are committed to providing a safe and affirming zone for anyone exploring issues related to sexual orientation or gender identity; (2) respect all people regardless of age, ability, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, race, religion, or sexual orientation; and (3) believe that diversity enriches our lives. Allies on Campus strives to reduce homophobia and transphobia, as well as other forms of heterosexism and gender identity based discrimination, through education, advocacy, awareness, and creating a visible network of allies. The program strives to develop a welcoming and supportive campus environment for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning students, faculty, and staff. Allies on Campus provides an avenue through which individuals can actively show their support of LGBTQA people. == History == The Utah State Allies on Campus program was started in April 2004 and developed from the example of allies (also known as safe zone or safe space) programs at other colleges and universities across the nation. These programs provide resources to a minority group often ignored by traditional university support systems (McRee & Cooper, 1998). Harassment and discrimination faced by LGBT college students has been well documented (D'Augelli, 1992; Herek, 1993; Malaney & Geller, 1997). The Allies on Campus program is comprised of, coordinated, and financially supported by volunteers who are committed to making the USU campus environment one where all students feel safe and supported. == Membership == Utah State faculty, staff, and students who are interested in volunteering to be a member of Allies on Campus must attend a three-hour seminar. The Ally Seminar includes: - An overview of the purpose of Allies on Campus, - Information on issues that LGBT students may be facing, - Information on resources and referrals, - Interaction with a panel of LGBT students, - Questions and answers, - and an opportunity to sign a contract. The Allies on Campus Contract is an agreement to provide a safe zone for anyone dealing with sexual or gender orientation issues. It emphasizes the expectations and responsibilities of an Ally, what an Ally is (support and referral) and is not (professional counselor), and gives Allies on Campus permission to include that member's name and contact information on the Allies on Campus webpage at http://www.usu.edu/lgbtqa/allies/ Attending the Ally Seminar is required before anyone can hang an ALLY sticker. Allies on Campus can be easily identified by the ALLY sticker, displayed prominently at their work site or on-campus living space. This is not to say that only people in Allies on Campus can help LGBT students. It simply helps students identify individuals who (1) have received some training in LGBT issues, (2) strive to reduce homophobia and heterosexism on a personal and professional level, and (3) have made a commitment to provide support and referrals to LGBT Students while respecting the privacy of the individuals who contact them. == Seminar Registration == If you would like to become a member of Allies on Campus and receive an ALLY sticker, you must attend an ALLY seminar, held throughout the fall and spring semesters. Even if you are not interested in becoming an ALLY, you are still very welcome to attend a seminar and learn more about LGBT-related issues. Space is limited, so pre-registration is required. Please fill out the registration form below as soon as possible. Spaces will be reserved in the order that registration forms are received. Individuals will be contacted via email the week before the seminar and told the location if needed.
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