Education

University Faculty Receive ‘Safe Space’ Ally Training

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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter

A university’s “Safe Space Committee” hosted ally trainings for faculty and graduate students in early June and seeks to combat “homophobia, transphobia and heterosexism,” Campus Reform reported Monday.

Old Dominion University’s “Safe Space Committee” held the “ally certification” trainings June 5 and June 7, and states that trainings for students will start again in the fall semester.

“Heterosexism” refers to “the individual, group, or institutional norms and behaviors that result from the assumption that all people are heterosexual. This system of oppression, which assumes that heterosexuality is inherently normal and superior, negates GLBTQ peoples’ lives and relationships,” according to the Safe Space Committee’s Glossary of Terms.

The committee, which seeks to bring together LGBTQ individuals and heterosexual allies to explore gender and sexual orientation while promoting free speech, also offers a list of workplaces that are “friendly” to the LGBT community, including the Human Rights Campaign and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association.

“To qualify, you must register for and attend one Safe Space Certification session in its entirety as a participant and preferably a second session as an observer,” reads the group’s policy. “You will then meet with one of the co-chairs to review your experiences and be trained on key facilitation skills.”

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Old Dominion University and the Safe Space Committee for comment, but received none in time for press.

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