You may have seen these stickers around campus recently. They represent ‘Safe Zones’ for students, faculty and staff.
A Safe Zone is a place where someone can go when they need someone to talk to who will be nonjudgmental and unbiased. Many safe zones exist on campus. The Safe Zone stickers indicate individuals (faculty, staff, etc) who are willing to talk with anyone who is feeling bullied, overwhelmed or who just wants to talk, according to professor Sheri Chisholm.
Cris Mayo, director of LGBTQ+ center in Morgantown, trained PSC faculty and staff on gender and sexuality diversity policies that will help protect those minorities from bias. Mayo said, “the people who go through trainings and put up Safe Zone signs have learned how to be allies to LGBTQ people and understand what resources for support and advocacy are available at WVU campuses.”
Professor Catie Snider has safety pins outside of her office door, AD 117, as part of the safety pin movement. She said the pins are for anyone who wants to take one and show that they are a ‘safe person.’
The “safety pin movement” began around the time of the recent presidential election. Some people who are disabled, Muslims, Mexicans, women and nonheterosexuals experienced fear based on some things that were said during the recent presidential election. Some individuals decided to wear a safety pin to show others that they are a safe person, will not discriminate or judge, and can provide help if necessary.
However, just because someone is not wearing a safety pin does not mean that they are not a safe person. Snider said, “I believe that sometimes the smallest, simplest acts can have meaningful, lasting effects.”