All posts by Catherine Hoey


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

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.

Not Just Another Hoey on the Hill

Despite what people may say, no I am not crazy for coming to Nichols College, and yes I do know my two older brothers go here. My name here isn’t Catherine anymore it’s primarily Pat Hoey’s little sister, but I am here to show everyone that Sean and Patrick are now known as Catherine Hoey’s older brothers. Also, however you pronounce my last name now is probably wrong, just know if my dad is around to pronounce it correctly. Did I mention there is a fourth Hoey here? While we don’t share the same last name, we still count Robbie Clay as one of us.

My brothers definitely influenced me a lot to come here, but they were not the only reason why I chose to enroll. When we were younger our dad would take us up to Nichols for homecoming because he was also a student here. I have been on this campus since 2001 when my dad received his Master’s degree, and I’ve loved it here ever since.

When it came time for me to make my decision, I knew I was going to go to Nichols, but I still looked at other schools and nothing compared. The fact that my brothers also go here just reinforced my decision.

I knew people would ask us why we all come to Nichols and my answer is that I hope we get something named after us. OK, Not really, but I don’t think we would complain if there were.