A pack of staff, faculty and students took part in a Safe Zone training from the LGBT Resource Center to make sure ALL students are welcomed and valued at the David Eccles School of Business. One student, Angel Demirev, wrote about it. Read Angel’s thoughts: 

A group of students and faculty had the opportunity to learn more about LGBTQ+ issues on campus at a Safe Zone training provided by our LGBT Resource Center. We were taught how to foster a safe environment of inclusion in the classroom, club events, and one-on-one interactions.

The culture of inclusiveness and diversity is paramount within our business school, and we need to be aware of what’s acceptable and what’s not when dealing with our peers.

A few takeaways from the event–

  • Feel free to ask which gender pronoun somebody prefers, but only if there’s a need to know (you wouldn’t ask a stranger that you’ll never see again).
  • Mirror the language than an individual uses to describe oneself, as different terminology can be seen as offensive from person to person.
  • Do feel free to advise students on making better impressions professionally while maintaining respect for their diversity. We can’t pretend that the real world is utopic, and we need to prepare our students for future careers; we can do that while nurturing a safe and inclusive environment.
  • Check your own privilege in the areas of sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and abilities, and consider how your outlook may be shaped by that privilege.
  • It’s inevitable that you will offend someone down the road, but what matters is how you own your mistake.

If there is an incident, our university has started a new Bias Incident Response Team on campus which can respond by providing support to students, implementing proactive measures to prevent and eliminate bias, and providing educational resources to sustain equity and respect through diversity and inclusivity. The Respect U report form can be used to anonymously report any act of intolerance.

We can all be allies, but if issues outside of our area of expertise arise when working with students we can make them aware of the commun