READING, Pa. —Penn State Berks wants all members of the campus community to know that they are valued and accepted. That’s why the campus is offering an Ally/Safe Zone training session on Tuesday, October 9, in the Perkins Student Center Multipurpose Room. The Ally training for students will begin at 12:05 p.m. and the Safe Zone training for faculty and staff will begin at 1:35 p.m.
The training will be held in an effort to support students and raise awareness and understanding of National Coming Out Day, celebrated Oct. 11. The goal is for faculty and staff to learn more about how they can support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) students at Penn State Berks as allies.
Three staff members will serve as the trainers: Sharon Pitterson-Ogaldez, coordinator of Diversity and International Programs; Aubrey Edwards, academic adviser; and Autumn Fritz, assistant director of Community Development.
Safe Zone is a University-wide program designed to raise awareness and visibility of the LGBTQ population at Penn State, to help people understand the issues facing LGBTQ students, and to help people become aware of available University resources. Training sessions provide a foundation of knowledge needed to be an effective ally to LGBTQ students, and those who complete the training are able to display one of the rainbow-colored Safe Zone cards in their work environment.