About Safe Zones
A Safe Zone is a welcoming, supportive and safe environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer students. A Safe Zone Ally is a person who promotes inclusion and understanding of all people, regardless of their orientation, identity, or expression.
Why does Saint Leo need a Safe Zone program?
From the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network’s National School Climate Survey, we know that school is not always a safe place for LGBTQ students. The majority of LGBTQ students report feeling unsafe at school and are likely to skip class or even full days of school to avoid the anti-LGBTQ name-calling, bullying and harassment they face on a daily basis.
Having clearly identifiable Safe Zones on campus makes a big difference. For many students, simply knowing that allies exist can be a source of support. Research shows that LGBTQ students with many supportive educators feel safer at school, skip fewer classes, and earn higher grades than students without supportive educators.
Safe Zone Allies
What is a Safe Zone Ally?
Safe Zone Allies people who have been trained to provide support and acceptance to all students, regardless of their gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Allies are not perfect, and they don’t have all the answers. However, they have committed to:
- educating about oppression, heterosexism, transphobia, and homophobia
- combating these prejudices in ourselves, in our community, and at Saint Leo
- providing a safe, confidential support network for the LGBTQ+ community
- treating everyone with the dignity & respect they are entitled to as individuals.
How can I become a Safe Zone Ally?
It’s easy! Really, all you have to do is commit to listen to and learn from members of the LGBTQ+ community and be there to help them feel comfortable, welcome, and wanted here at Saint Leo. But to make things more official—and to help folks learn how best to make a difference, we offer monthly Safe Zone Ally training sessions both for students and for faculty/staff. Check our upcoming dates on Prism’s EngageLeo events page.
Each three-hour training session includes examination of the vocabulary of orientation, identity, and expression; an overview of the coming-out process and how difficult it can be; and discussion of various scenarios in which an Ally can help support LGBTQ+ community members.
At the end of the training session, participants have the option to sign a Safe Zone Ally Contract and commit to providing a safe and confidential network of resources for everyone in our community. Faculty, staff, and Resident Assistants who sign the Contract receive a Safe Zone Ally sign for their office/residence doors. Students who sign the Contract receive a Safe Zone Ally button, perfect for attaching to a backpack to show they bring support wherever they go.
When are the next training sessions?
We try to offer one faculty/staff training session and one student training session per month, and we work to vary the times and days the training sessions are offered, to accommodate as many people’s schedules as possible. Check with our events page on EngageLeo (https://bit.ly/prism-events) for the full list of what’s currently planned.
If your club, team, department, office, Greek organization, or large group of like-minded friends wants to schedule a special training session just for you, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll be happy to work with you!
We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming training event!
Saint Leo University’s Safe Zone Allies
Faculty & Staff
Admissions & Enrollment
- Traci Dougherty, Tampa Support Center
Center for Teaching & Learning Excellence
- Joseph Cillo, St. Edward 142
- Robert Diemer, St. Edward 113
- Debra Mims, Kirk 320
- Phillip Neely, St. Edward 223
- Moneque Walker-Pickett, Kirk 208
College of Arts & Sciences
- Amanda Forrester, St. Edward 224
- Scott Bruce, St. Edward 203
College of Education & Social Services
- Joanne Crossman, Kirk 307
- Heather Johnson, St. Edward 227
- Jessica Moreira, St. Edward 203
- Rhondda Waddell, St. Edward 229
College of Health Professions
- Kathleen Van Eerden, St. Edward 233
- Aubrey Hall, deChantal 110
- Beverley DiGiacobbe, Kirk 221 & Benedict. 302
- Noemi Reyes, Benedictine 324B
Interdisc. Studies & Experiential Learning
- Elisabeth Aiken, St. Edward 235
- Karen Hannel, St. Edward 230
- Timothy Jussaume, DeChantal 126
Language Studies & the Arts
- Anne Barngrover, St. Edward 115
- Alicia Corts, Kirk 310
- Pamela Decius, St. Edward 137
- Kathryn Duncan, St. Edward 340
- Chris Friend, Kirk 311
- Agnieszka Leesch, St. Edward 139
- Chantelle MacPhee, St. Edward 324
- Iona Sarieva, Kirk 324
- Janet Franks, Main Floor
- Renée Gould, Tech Services
- John David Harding, Main Floor
- Ángel Jiménez, Main Floor
- Michelle Joy, Tech Services
- Emilee Leathers, Tech Services
- Carol Ann Moon, Main Floor
- Megan Nowell, Main Floor
- Marissa Smith, Tech Services
Math & Science
- Laura Altfeld, Lewis 133
- Cheryl Kozina, Lewis 110
- Thomas Ricard, Lewis 108
- Audrey Shor, Lewis 126
- Pamela Frazer, St. Edward 156
Student Affairs / Res Life
- Jasmine (Jazzy) Collins, SAB 115
- Nicole Baum, SAB 2nd Floor
- Joanne Rodriguez, SAB 207
- Caitlin Bly (’20), Biology
- Jenevieve Bly
- Kiersten Breck (’21), English
- Nevaeh Browne
- Olivia Callahan (’20), English
- Kayla Damelio (’22), Education
- Antonio Davis (’23), Theatre
- Reid Griffin (’22), Psychology
- Isabel Guerrero (’22), Accounting
- Kailee McLane (’20), Criminal Justice
- Gina Marie Mejias (’21), English
- Joseph Perrotta (’21), Comp. Info Systems
- Maggie Sroka (’20), Health Care Admin