The University of Connecticut Rainbow Center currently offers a program aimed at improving understanding of issues within the LGBTQ+ community. The Husky Safe Zone Training takes place during a two-and-a-half-hour session and aims to help educate those who “support diverse sexual orientations and gender identities/expressions.”
Given ResLife’s recent decision to revoke students’ ability to share preferred pronouns on dormitory door tags, this training seems like a beneficial opportunity now more than ever. While it is unlikely that the administrators who made this decision did so in a malicious way, it is important to note that many students were unhappy and uncomfortable with the decision. A program of this sort may help to ensure that decisions like this are not made again.
“Our specific program focuses on informed empathy,” Julia Anderson, a graduate assistant in the Rainbow Center, explained. This program can greatly benefit our university by ensuring that officials who make decisions regarding things such as publicizing people’s preferred pronouns do so in a way that is both appropriate and respectful to all individuals.
Our university is lucky to have a strong center for the LGBTQ+ community led by our Rainbow Center. However, many others do not get to experience this in their own universities or out in the world after college. Having a program like this can be a huge advantage not only for staff and students but for everyone who participates in the program or interacts with an individual who does so. This training program hopes to educate people in a way that will stick with them long after their college days are over and, in doing so, will hopefully create more understanding individuals for generations to come. In allowing people to become more educated on these topics that they may not otherwise know much about, the Rainbow Center is paving the way for a more accepting and respectful world.
While a two-and-a-half-hour training session may seem like a large time commitment, the Rainbow Center’s Husky Safe Zone Training is an amazing opportunity for the entire community to become better aware of how to be respectful of people that may differ from themselves. The LGBTQ+ community is deserving of the same level of respect and empathy that is given to people that do not identify with this group, and this training program can help spread this important message to our university.
Emma Hungaski is the associate opinion editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.