Some colorful new stickers have appeared around the Nichols College campus since October 11. What the stickers signify is pretty important. The symbols, a ribbon with the Nichols green and a rainbow, represent SAFE ZONE, an initiative that brings together the Nichols College community and tolerance.
SAFE ZONE makes it known to anyone who is part of the LGBT community that there is an extra network here to support them. I spoke with the Dean of Students, PJ Boggio, about SAFE ZONE and how the whole campus is involved.
PJ wants everyone to know that when they see the SAFE ZONE stickers, they should be reassured that Nichols accepts everyone for who they are.
On October 10th, PJ emailed the whole campus explaining to everyone the concept and goal of SAFE ZONE. In her email, PJ shared the names of the 55 SAFE ZONE members, who were invited to take and post to social media “selfies” in front of the stickers they’d posted to the doors of their offices.
When I talked to PJ she said people are still trying to get onto the list. As a student, it’s great to see all the support from our faculty and staff.
Another thing we talked about was how just because a name is not on the list, doesn’t mean you can’t approach them with a question or if you need guidance. Many people at Nichols are 100% on board with SAFE ZONE, so students should feel comfortable discussing LGBT issues with anyone—regardless of whether or not they’re affiliated with SAFE ZONE.
With that openness in mind, PJ doesn’t want people to feel like they have to talk only to the faculty and staff on the SAFE ZONE list. Soon, almost every building at Nichols will have its own SAFE ZONE decal so all members of our community will feel welcomed wherever they are on campus.