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LGBTQ+ youth (including college students) are vastly more likely to suffer from mental health challenges, bullying, and domestic violence than their peers, and so it’s important that we make our classrooms an environment where all our students feel seen, heard, and respected, as well as places where they feel safe to express themselves. This is sometimes easier said than done, however, and many instructors feel ill-equipped to talk about LGBTQ+ issues in the classroom. Safe Zone-style workshops take several forms, and this program is tailored specifically for instructors with scenarios that offer some guidance for common classroom situations. We will explore core vocabulary and discuss the complex web of identities represented under the LGBTQ+ umbrella (and, indeed, why this acronym itself can be limiting and non-inclusive) as well as scenarios related to coming out, microaggressions, and handling difficult conversations in the classroom.
The morning session will be similar to the shorter Safe Zone workshops offered during the academic year. After a break for lunch, participants will learn about concrete steps they can take to alter their course syllabi (or other student-facing documents) to be more inclusive to our LGBTQ+ students and colleagues. Participants will also have the chance to interact with a panel of ISU students who have agreed to share their perspectives on student life as members of the queer community. Following the workshop, participants will be expected to submit their revised document by Friday, May 27, 2022, to receive a stipend.
This workshop is appropriate for all experience levels, including those who have already completed a Safe Zone-based training either at ISU or at another institution. Registration is required.
Artifact: Participants will revise one of their course syllabi (or another appropriate student-facing document such as an assignment sheet, a participation policy, guidelines for a lab section, a GA handbook, etc.) to apply principles of gender-neutral and LGBTQ+ affirming language to enhance students’ sense of belonging at ISU. It has been shown by many studies that if students do not feel included and respected, it is very difficult for them to learn, so this enhances student success by reducing the instances of microaggressive or non-inclusive language on documents that students interact with on a regular basis.