Through education and awareness, the Argo Allies: Safe Space Training Program seeks to make UWF a more welcoming, safe, and inclusive campus for LGBTQ+ individuals. LGBTQ+ is an encompassing term that includes but is not limited to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer individuals.
Safe Space Training
The Argo Allies: Safe Space Training Program prepares members of the UWF community to support those who identify as LGBTQ+. Once all training sessions have been completed, the participants will receive a Safe Space certificate and sticker to display on their door/window to signal their status as an ally.
Argo Ally Training 101: The Community
Gain basic knowledge about the community. This course will provide participants with foundational information to enhance understanding of the LGBTQ+ identities
Argo Ally Training 102: The Terminology
This course is designed to provide participants with the knowledge and skills to understand basic LGBTQ+ terminology. Participants will gain basic knowledge about pronouns, gender identity vs sexual attraction, updated terminology, flags, and the coming out process.
Argo Ally Training 103: Allyship Defined
The course builds upon the lessons learned in part 1 and 2 to provide participants with practical strategies to create safe, inclusive, and welcoming spaces for LGBTQ+ individuals.
A Safe Space at UWF is a person who provides a safe space that is highly visible and easily identifiable to the LGBTQ+ community. A Safe Space is where support and understanding are key. Individuals are safe spaces, not departments or office work areas. The main purpose of the Safe Space Program is to visibly mark safe spaces for LGBTQ+ community members.
LGBTQ+ individuals may struggle navigating campus life as marginalized individuals. In some cases, they may feel uncomfortable and unwelcomed. Students whose emotional and physical safety are at risk can experience fear and anxiety, isolation and invisibility, fear of disclosure, and high levels of stress. In turn, these experiences can interfere with academic achievement and personal development. Unwelcoming environments may also contribute to attrition and turnover among promising LGBTQ+ students as well as employees.
For many members of the University community, the presence of allies to whom they can turn for support—or even the simple knowledge that allies exist—can be a big factor in developing a positive sense of self, building community, coping with bias, and working to improve school climate. Safe Space programs increase the visible presence of student and adult allies who can help to shape a school culture that is accepting of all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, or any other difference.
All UWF community members deserve to learn and work in an environment that is welcoming, supportive, and respectful. Unwelcoming, unsupportive, and hostile environments can negatively impact the academic and employment experience and performance outcomes as well as contribute to mental and emotional distress.Change can take place through support, awareness and education. UWF employees are encouraged to become skilled at providing inclusive environments for all people regardless of their identity, gender experession or sexual orientation. Participating in the Safe Space Training will allow individuals to learn about themselves and others and can help make campus more inclusive and welcoming for everyone.
Maybe you feel you are well-versed in LGBTQ+ issues and would not benefit from sitting through a training to be able to support your fellow Argos. Maybe you feel that being supportive is a matter of common sense that does not require any special know-how. Be assured, there are several worthy reasons for everyone who wants to be a part of the Safe Space program to attend the standard training.
- Many issues LGBTQ+ people experience remain largely invisible. Even though you might have good intentions, you might not know how to best offer support. How much you know about LGBTQ+ people and the issues that impact them directly affect your role as an ally.
- Most of us know how to put the brakes on our potential offensive behavior, but many of us may be reluctant to respond to offensive behavior. The Argo Allies: Safe Space Training Program will provide strategies on how to respond in a productive and helpful way to these potential instances that can negatively impact an individual’s experience on our campus.
- Supporting LGBTQ+ populations can be challenging. Unfortunately, anti-LGBTQ+ bias can result in uncomfortable situations and, sometimes, leads to violence. Allies need to know how to support LGBTQ+ rights while being conscious of their own safety and security.
How do I sign up for the training?
The Argo Allies: Safe Space Training Program consists of three courses. These workshops aim to reduce the often unwelcoming and even challenging environments in which LGBTQ+ individuals may find themselves.
This training is offered each semester and is also offered on request. Participants who complete all three sessions will receive a Safe Space Certificate and sticker to display on their door/window. This is a voluntary training, and employees can sign up for the training on the HR training page
How do I know if I’m in a Safe Space?
Staff who have participated in safe space training will have a certificate and/or Argo Ally sticker on their door or window.
If I am a student, can I still participate?
What if I want to facilitate the trainings?
Contact us at email@example.com. We'd love to have multiple facilitators.