Lone Star College System seeks to expand 'safe space' program

The Lone Star College Board of Trustees met Feb. 6 for a regular board meeting.
The Lone Star College Board of Trustees met Feb. 6 for a regular board meeting.

The Lone Star College Board of Trustees met Feb. 6 for a regular board meeting.

Lone Star College System is pushing for more efforts to make LGBTQ students feel safe and welcome across its campuses in 2020 following a presentation to the board of trustees Feb. 6.

The college will expand its existing safe zone program, which is a training program for students, staff and administrators to offer support for LGBTQ students.

David Gaer, LSC-University Park speech department chair, said the safe zone program was originally established in 2019 as a way to help LGBTQ students build connections and to help them feel encouraged and excited about classes while attending the college system.

Gaer said around 10% of the LSCS student body identify as being part of the LGBTQ community.

"We're talking about at least 8,766 of our students who need our support to feel safe and comfortable on our campuses," Gaer said.

Throughout 2019, Gaer said system-wide safe zone training took place, with each campus having a certified trainer and 91 staff members participating in training. For 2020, the program is looking to expand into the student body by creating an ally program and training 30-50 student advocates.

"I'm very excited about this program," Gaer said. "I think it is something we have to have on our campuses."


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