Safe Zone educates JMU faculty, staff, and students about issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and questioning individuals (LGBTQIQ) and their loved ones.
ARE YOU IN THE ZONE?
The purpose of this page is to make evident the more and less welcoming places on our campus, so that we can assess where we need to direct our efforts at improving the campus climate for LGBTQIQ members of our community.
You can submit positive or negative events and we will post them on this page. Note that harassment and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation are against JMU policy. Gender identity is not currently listed in JMU policy, but sexual harassment is included (from federal policy) and our university and state harassment policies are intended to cover harassment in general. Don't assume that you aren't protected, in that regard. JMU policy suggests that you begin by explaining your complaint either to the offender or to their direct supervisor, but you can also discuss your concerns about discrimination or harassment with any Safe Zone member.
Numerous times, for about a year to now, I have been called names by a junior girl who is in the nursing program. I have confronted her about it--that it was wrong for her to say some comments about me, especially on facebook. But she told me that she was a mature person, and she continues to do so even though it is wrong to make fun of someone because they're different.
I chose to become Multi-Cultural Representative on our Community Activities Board. By this time I had come out to my R.A. and Hall Director (in case any problem were to arise with my hall mates). They were very accepting and understanding of me.
When I suggested we have a ""Whose Straight?"" panel, at our hall, not only were my R.A. and Hall Director accepting of the idea, they were supportive & encouraging. I am really happy to have so much support from the ORL staff in my hall."
Harassment in Hillside:
I have a friend who's hall mates tease him about being gay. I am not sure if he is or not, but if he is, he has NOT come out yet. As a result, my friend hits on girls to prove he's not gay. It really makes mad. We're supposed to be able to be comfortable in our own living environments. [Safe Zone has contacted the Hillside area director and asked that a message be sent to Hillside residents reminding them that all forms of harassment, including that based on sexual orientation, are against university policy.]
Carrier Library put up a whiteboard celebrating National Coming Out Day and encouraging people to contact them with LGBT research questions. Especially friendly librarians left their business cards on the table. Awesome.
A student came out to the class last semester and students reacted as though he had said his name. No one seemed to care.
A student in my GHIST class made a crude and offensive gay joke. The professor said nothing and just laughed, along with the a majority of the class. [Update: This student took his/her concerns to a Safe Zone member who contacted the History Department Head. Dr. Galgano was wonderful, understanding, and fast. Students in the class received an apology and were ensured that the homophobia would not continue. This one has happy ending. Thank you Dr. Galgano!]
My GWRIT class had in members of the GLBTS group and they were awesome!
Had a student scream "f____t" at me out his driver's side window while I was walking down South Main the other night.
A HUGE pat to Madison Equality and its members in re-evaluating themselves and working to better themselves and become better as people and as an organization in the past couple weeks. I've never felt more accepted and appreciated as a person in the time that I've been here than in the past few weeks. Well done, everyone. :)