Currently, the LGBT Resource Center partners with students, staff, and faculty to provide Safe Space training that educates interested or concerned students about serious issues facing members of the LGBT community and their allies. Previously this training has been an optional, in-service program for Resident Advisors that takes place well into the Fall semester. Because of the timing of the in-service requirement, many Resident Advisors are unable to attend this extremely important training due to other conflicts. Thus, Student Council President Matt Schrimper has proposed a resolution to provide optional LGBT Safe Space training to Resident Advisors during their Orientation Week in August.
This is an incredible opportunity for Student Council to connect both with the LGBT community and the Residence Life Program to provide beneficial and important training for Resident Advisors, part of whose job is to promote and facilitate community building and awareness. Although Orientation Week training for Resident Staff is extensive, the added instruction from LGBT community leaders as an optional program will serve to reach a greater portion of the Resident Staff organization, increasing first year and upper class awareness of the vitality and importance of the LGBT community at the University.
Student Council has already taken a lead in communicating with both the LGBT Resource Center and the Residence Life program. The proposed resolution is a mechanism by which Student Council will formally call upon both organizations to make the development of Orientation Week Safe Space training a top priority. Furthermore, Student Council has extended the offer for any resources necessary to make the training program a reality for this upcoming summer.
The proposed resolution will be brought before the Student Council representative body this evening, with a vote to pass the resolution occurring the following Tuesday. This resolution, upon passage, will provide an incredible service both to the Residence Life program and the LGBT community, and will drastically increase community awareness at the University.
Resolution to Support Safe Space Training for Resident Advisors
Sponsored by President Matt Schrimper
Whereas, the Safe Space network is made up of University faculty, staff, and students who are committed to being allies of the LGBT community,
Whereas, all members complete a two-hour training that consists of information about the LGBT population and how to be an ally,
Whereas, Resident Advisors may play a crucial role in fostering respect and sensitivity toward the LGBT community at the University,
Whereas, Safe Space training is presently only offered to Resident Advisors well after the academic year commences,
Whereas, Safe Space training offered at the Resident Advisor orientation week would allow for more Resident Advisors to take part in the training and would allow for first year students to see the Safe Space symbol the first day they arrive at the University,
Whereas, Student Council has already taken the lead in facilitating communication between the LGBT Resource Center and the Resident Staff program on this issue,
Be it therefore resolved, that the University of Virginia Student Council calls upon the Resident Staff program to partner with the LGBT Resource Center to offer optional Safe Space Training to Resident Advisors during their orientation week.