Southern Illinois University Edwardsville celebrates part of its mission with its rich diversity. SIUE Chancellor Randy Pembrook greeted and affirmed LGBTQIA students, faculty, staff and allies during the eighth annual SIUE Safe Zone and Ally Welcome Reception, held in the University Center’s Hickory-Hackberry Room.
Pembrook praised the LGBTQIA community for recent Safe Zone accomplishments, some of which included:
- Completed ally training with more than 60 faculty, staff and students through on-site training on the Edwardsville and East St. Louis campuses
- Completed ally training with more than 60 future K-12 teachers in the Department of Teaching and Learning’s Planning for Diverse Learners spring 2018 course
- Completed ally training with staff members of the Centerstone Community Health, a non-profit healthcare organization with a location in Alton
- Established the inaugural Safe Zone Scholarship Committee and awarded two $500 scholarship awards for fall 2018, one to an undergraduate and the other to a graduate student
- Participated in 2018 PrideFest St. Louis, with more than 40 volunteers from the community
“The LGBTQIA Welcome Reception was an informal way to welcome members and allies of the LGBTQIA community,” said Shelley Price-Williams, PhD, SIUE Safe Zone staff co-chair and coordinator of student services and transitions in the SIUE School of Business. Mary Sue Love, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Management and Marketing, is the Safe Zone faculty co-chair.
The LGBTQIA reception was held in Morris University Center’s Hickory-Hackberry Room and more than 50 administrators, faculty, staff and students attended.
“We saw an increase in student attendance from the last few years,” added Price-Williams. “I attribute that to students feeling welcome, safe and having a community of support here at SIUE.”
“It is always great to welcome our LGBTQIA and Ally students back each year,” said Rex Jackson, associate director of Residence Life and past Safe Zone co-chair. “This allows them to connect to other LGBTQIA and Ally students, and to see members of the campus administration who are supporters of this community.
“This reception allows us to show our commitment to creating a safe and inclusive campus for the LGBTQIA community,” continued Jackson. “At this event we are also able to let people know how to get involved with Safe Zone, and what Safe Zone has planned for this upcoming year.”
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, and Ally/Asexual (LGBTQIA) Resources website of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) seeks to encourage a safe environment that is welcoming to all students, staff, faculty, and LGBTQIA community members. This site, operated by SIUE’s Safe Zone Committee, strives to provide a comprehensive listing of resources and information regarding sexual orientation and gender identity as these concerns relate to the SIUE Community. Safe Zone is funded by and reports to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.
Photo: SIUE Chancellor Randy Pembrook greeted and affirmed LGBTQIA students, faculty, staff and allies during their annual reception.