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ERIC Number: ED517219
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 32
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 26
Finding Queer Allies: The Impact of Ally Training and Safe Zone Stickers on Campus Climate
Ballard, Stephanie L.; Bartle, Eli; Masequesmay, Gina
Online Submission
To counter heterosexism, homophobia, and gender binarism in higher education, "safe zone" or "ally" programs are efforts by American universities to create a welcoming environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQ) members of the campus community. This study describes perceptions of campus climate for LGBTQ students, faculty, and staff and examines the impact of ally training and safe zone stickers at a large, public university in California during the 5-year period of 2002-2007. It used a mixed-methods research design: a survey was collected from predominantly-Latino/a students through an LGBT student organization, another survey was collected from faculty and staff who participated in the training, and a focus group was conducted among a subset of training participants. Quantitative and qualitative data were analyzed to provide descriptive statistics and content themes. Findings show LGBT students perceive faculty and staff as accepting, especially those who have taken an ally training, but do not feel safer in the presence of safe zone stickers. Faculty and staff perceive campus climate as barely tolerant of LGBTQ persons. They did report affective and social benefits from both the ally training and safe zone stickers. The study shows that such programs can improve understanding of LGBTQ persons but cannot advance the campus climate beyond mere tolerance without administrative support and additional resources. It also confirms the importance of training before the issuance of stickers, primarily to eliminate those who cannot serve as effective allies due to prejudice. Six specific recommendations for improving the training and campus climate are identified. The Ally/Safe Zone sticker at California State University, Northridge is appended. (Contains 3 tables.)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California