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Student Leadership and Activities

Safe Zone History

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WOU Safe Zone Committee

The WOU Safe Zone Committee had its first meeting on October 11, 2006. The group was committed to starting a Safe Zone program on campus, but didn't know what that would look like. Ideas were thrown around everywhere! From that first meeting, the committee has evolved. People have come, gone, but the commitment to inclusivity and having WOU be a supportive and safe campus has stayed the same!

Today, the committee meets every 1-2 weeks to evaluate the program, discuss issues on campus and reaffirm our interest and commitment to GLBTQ issues on the WOU campus.

WOU Safe Zone Logo

The WOU Safe Zone Committee established a logo contest during winter term 2007 with the hopes of getting designs from students that would work to create a unique WOU logo that sets a positive image of Safe Zone. Emily Nuding submitted the winning design from that contest.

After some feedback from the campus community and committee, we were able to create the official logo for Western Oregon University's Safe Zone program.

The logo has been used to create buttons, bumperstickers and is available to purchase on a variety of apparel and goods, the proceeds benefiting the Safe Zone program on the WOU campus.

Safe Zone Coming Out Party

The WOU Safe Zone committee only thought it fitting to have a "Coming Out' party for the new WOU Safe Zone logo and tell the campus community about the efforts and training. It was held on April 30, 2007 and was attended by over 60 people. There was a Safe Zone cake, a giant placard signed by people in attendance and support from the WOU President, faculty, staff and students. This marked the first public display of the program. Since then, we have given out over 600 buttons and hundreds of bumperstickers and items to show support for GLBTQ issues on the WOU campus.

Safe Zone Work in Progress

Current Safe Zone Committee Projects

Currently, our committee is working on the following areas:

  • The entire by-law system of Safe Zone has been restructured. Make sure to check it out above!
  • The Safe Zone buttons and bumperstickers are a huge success! Buttons can be picked up at the Werner University Center Information Desk and are free. Support bumperstickers can be purchased for $1.00 and Ally bumperstickers are free to those who have been Ally trained. Go to the training page for information on our next training.
  • We offer multiple Ally trainings throughout the year and an 8 hour intensive trainer training at least once a year.
  • Analyzing the role of Safe Zone in societal and campus-wide GLBTQ issues.
  • Conducting ongoing educational efforts.
  • Work with our Safe Zone intern program

Proud accomplishments

  • finished our 6th year on campus
  • celebrated our 2nd Lavender Graduation
  • The "Make It Better" Kick-off. This program was designed to provide students with information about the GLBTQ resources on campus, as well as make fun, GLBTQ-inspired crafts.

Contact Us

You can reach anyone on the committee by e-mailing us at safezone@wou.edu.

GLBTQ History

Timeline of Gay RIghts

The Society for Human Rights in Chicago becomes the country's earliest known gay rights organization.
Alfred Kinsey publishes the Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, revealing to the public that homosexuality is far more widespread than was commonly believed.
The Mattachine Society, the first national gay rights organization, is formed by Harry Hay, considered by many to be the founder of the gay rights movement.
The Daughters of Bilitis, a pioneering national lesbian organization, is founded.
Illinois becomes the first state in the U.S. to decriminalize homosexual acts between consenting adults in private.
The Stonewall riots transform the gay rights movement from one limited to a small number of activists into a widespread protest for equal rights and acceptance. Patrons of a gay bar in New York's Greenwich Village, the Stonewall Inn, fight back during a police raid on June 27, sparking three days of riots.
The American Psychiatric Association removes homosexuality from its official list of mental disorders.
Wisconsin becomes the first state to outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
The “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy is instituted for the U.S. military, permitting gays to serve in the military but banning homosexual activity. President Clinton's original intention to revoke the prohibition against gays in the military was met with stiff opposition; this compromise, which has led to the discharge of thousands of men and women in the armed forces, was the result.
In Romer vs. Evans, the Supreme Court strikes down Colorado's Amendment 2, which denied gays and lesbians protections against discrimination, calling them “special rights.” According to Justice Anthony Kennedy, “We find nothing special in the protections Amendment 2 withholds. These protections . . . constitute ordinary civil life in a free society.”
Vermont becomes the first state in the country to legally recognize civil unions between gay or lesbian couples. The law states that these “couples would be entitled to the same benefits, privileges, and responsibilities as spouses.” It stops short of referring to same-sex unions as marriage, which the state defines as heterosexual.1
The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Lawrence vs. Texas that sodomy laws in the U.S. are unconstitutional. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, “Liberty presumes an autonomy of self that includes freedom of thought, belief, expression, and certain intimate conduct.”

In November, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that barring gays and lesbians from marrying violates the state constitution. The Massachusetts Chief Justice concluded that to “deny the protections, benefits, and obligations conferred by civil marriage” to gay couples was unconstitutional because it denied “the dignity and equality of all individuals” and made them “second-class citizens.” Strong opposition followed the ruling.
On May 17, same-sex marriages become legal in Massachusetts.


Student Leadership and Activities 503-838-8261 | or e-mail: wucofc@wou.edu

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