Safe zones appearing more frequently at Elizabethtown College

ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) – A rainbow circle on a door at Elizabethtown College signifies a safe haven for LGBTQ students.

Stephanie Collins, the interim coordinator for multicultural programming, runs the program.

It has become part of middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities,” she said.

Collins said the zones, which are staffed, are areas students can talk about issues. She said recently the college has seen more faculty signing up to be safe zone certified.

“We have around 30 faculty and staff members who are trained,” Collins said. “I think they understand the need for it. I think faculty and staff really want to reach their students.”

Deirde Rocklein, a faculty member, recently went through the training. She told ABC27 News that students are coming to talk to her every day.

“I hear stories from students about coming out,” Rocklein said. “It was great to hear more about them and some of the struggles they’ve experienced at Elizabethtown College.”

Officials from Lebanon Valley College, York College, Millersville University, and Shippensburg University said they also have areas for LGBTQ students.

“I think the students who are using the resources feel grateful for having someone who can understand what they might be going through,” Collins said.

Correction: A previous version of this article erroneously stated that Messiah College has a designated safe space for LGBT students.

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