What is the Safe Zone Ally program?
The Safe Zone Ally program at the University of Northern Iowa is a campus wide opportunity designed to support the continued growth of an inclusive campus community. This program supports the university's value of cultivating a caring and diverse campus community that values respect for all people, the open and free exchange of ideas, and responsible and ethical behavior.
We revamped our Safe Zone Ally program in Fall 2016. Becoming an ally is a process that takes time and our program is set up to honor that process.
Phase One is an in-person, hour long training that provides basic knowledge of the LGBTQ+ community, establishes a common vocabulary for participant use and defines what it means to be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community at the University of Northern Iowa.
Phase Two is also an in-person training. However, this portion is scheduled for two hours, providing a deeper exploration of current issues, further exploration of privilege, and small group conversation. Participants in Phase Two training are given the opportunity to become Safe Zone Ally certified by signing an ally agreement stating their confidence in their ability to be a knowledgeable, responsible, and committed ally.
What does an Ally do?
First and foremost by displaying their Safe Zone Ally placard, allies send a visible message of welcome to LGBTQ+ individuals. Allies serve as information resources and offer a safe space for LGBTQ+ students. Allies actively look for ways to integrate the LGBTQ+ community into campus activities and advocate for inclusion in their workplaces, personal spaces, and out in the greater community. Allies also commit to continuously evaluate themselves and their social positions, and commit to educating themselves on current issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community.
How can I sign up for training?
To host a Phase One training for your office, department, organization, etc. please use this webform to submit a request for a training session.
To individually participate in Safe Zone Ally Phase One please complete this webform.
Once you have completed Phase One, we encourage individuals who feel they can commit to serving as an active ally to complete Safe Zone Ally Phase Two. Registration for Phase Two can be completed through this webform.
Can I sign my student organization/floor/department up for Safe Zone training?
Yes and no. The best allies are those that choose to be an ally and are not required. However, in wanting to meet the needs of our campus community, the change to in-person training for both components of the program allows the opportunity to request Phase One be presented to a student organization/floor/group, etc. Phase Two will only be available for individuals who have completed Phase One and decide to sign up on their own.
If you would like Phase One of the Safe Zone training presented to your organization/floor/department, please complete this webform.
I already took the training. Can I get a new placard?
Part of being an ally is staying connected with the LGBTQ+ community and challenging yourself to learn and grow. We only give out our Safe Zone Ally placards to those who have completed both Phase One and Phase Two. If you took the training in the 2015-2016 academic year, we encourage you to take Phase Two. If you took the training prior to Fall 2015, we ask that you take both Phase One and Two to get recertified. We encourage our Safe Zone Allies to consider retaking the training at least every other year to stay connected and informed.