Upper Iowa University's Safe Zone logo was designed by student Crystal Busch from Decorah, Iowa. Busch's design was chosen by the Safe Zone committee and Pride Club as the winner of a logo contest compiled by UIU Professor of Graphic Design Don McComb.
FAYETTE, Iowa (December 10, 2012) – Beginning in January, Upper Iowa University faculty and staff will have the opportunity to show support for its LGBTQIA community by becoming a part of the nationally known Safe Zone initiative.
This new endeavor was proposed during the summer by Meg Hammes, UIU's director of counseling services and assistant dean of student development, along with Melissa MacTaggart, vice president of human resources. They recruited faculty members to serve on the Safe Zone committee. This fall, UIU's Pride Club was included in the initiative. Now the largest UIU student organization, Pride Club was formed to raise awareness and support for members of the LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Genderqueer, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Question, Intersex, Ally) University community.
Pride Club president Abner Avila, a senior from Belize said, "When I first came to Upper Iowa, LGBTQIA issues were not talked about. We didn't feel comfortable talking about our sexual orientation, and with Pride Club beginning this year – it has helped the campus be more open. People feel they are allowed to express themselves in a safe environment."
The Safe Zone initiative is designed to allow the Upper Iowa community to show its support for all members. "Upper Iowa University is a place where all are welcome," said Hammes. "Therefore, prejudice and bias are not acceptable by any members of our community. However, Safe Zone initiatives specifically identify LGBTQIA students for protection because this issue remains largely invisible."
Safe Zone training will be attached to the University's diversity training in January. Faculty and staff members who are willing to voluntarily participate in the training will be able to display the Safe Zone sticker. Safe Zone stickers can be displayed in offices of participants in order to communicate a climate of acceptance. The UIU Counseling Office and Safe Zone committee will host an awareness party for Safe Zone in early January with actual training for faculty and staff members to come later in the month.
Anyone with questions regarding Pride Club or Safe Zone may contact Hammes at 563-425-5786 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Avila at email@example.com.
About Upper Iowa University Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs and leadership development opportunities to some 6,200 students—nationally and internationally—at its Fayette campus and learning centers worldwide. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and independent study. For more information, visit www.uiu.edu.
Monica Bayer Heaton
Associate Vice President for Communication and Marketing