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Program History

Safe Zone

The Safe Zone program, sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Student Programs and Services at the College of Charleston was initially founded in 2005 to serve as a platform to address the issues facing the LGBTQ community on our campus.  After partnering with  Alliance for Full Acceptance (AFFA) and We Are Family, we were graciously provided a grant to help expand the reach and mission or our program even further throughout the campus.


The initial chapter of a ‘safe program’ was founded on the campus of Ball State University in 1992.  Their program was known by two names - "Safe on Campus" and "Staff, Administration, and Faculty for Equality on Campus" - and was run by the Lesbian, Bisexual, and Gay Student Association.  Since that time, safe programs have been established on college campuses throughout the country and are known by a variety of names such as:  Safe Space, Safe Harbor and Safe on Campus.


No matter which college campuses that the "safe program" appears, the main intent is the same - the eradication of homophobia and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, allied, asexual and intersex (LGBTQ) people on our nation's college campuses.  To this end, the program acts as a bridge between LGBTQ individuals and those members of the heterosexual student body, known as Allies, who are friendly to the cause of inclusion and equality for the LGBTQ community.  The program is designed to provide a safe, positive environment for student members of the LGBTQ community on campus.  The program also serves as a sounding board for members to voice their particular concerns relating to gay/heterosexual relationships on campus and on how to build better communications between the two groups.  At present, the program here at the College of Charleston is organized and led by members of the faculty, staff and student body.  It is our goal that in the future leadership will be turned over to the student membership.  Through collaboration with various other campus organizations and community partnerships such as the Gay/Straight Alliance, the Safe Zone program will afford our students the opportunity to be themselves in a safe environment where they can speak freely and openly about the issues that affect them personally, socially and academically.  It is only through constructive dialogue and working together that the issue of homophobia can be addressed and the level of hatred and mistrust alleviated.