This weekend is the annual PrideFest here in Des Moines. The event celebrates the importance of gay culture in the Midwest through various activities including a Pride Scavenger Hunt on Friday night, Street Party Saturday night with live music, competitions and entertainment, and concludes with a pancake breakfast and parade on Sunday morning.
Over the past couple of months, we here at DMU have opened up the dialogue of diversity as it pertains to the GLBTQ (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer) community here on campus. In our efforts to create a more harmonious environment for all students, staff and faculty, a training session was set up for those who wished to be involved. Safe Zone attracted over 120 participants and was a great first step in recognizing and supporting the GLBTQ community here at DMU.
In a post-session questionnaire the following was asked: What are some tangible things that the school is doing to make the school more supportive?
And here was one participant’s answer.
“We hope to continue the discussions in the future and plan to have additional training sessions each year. We are also in the process of updating our portal page to include more resources for Safe Zone members and with LGBT resources in general. In addition, we are looking for ways to have a more visible support system on campus so that those who are new to DMU will readily see that we are a supportive, inclusive campus.”