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Be an ally and take a stand. Sign up for a training today!

What is the Ally Space Program?

In the fall semester of 2012 Dr. Li Faustino (formerly of the McClintock Center for Counseling and Psychological Services) and then-Resident Director Michelle Spiegel (Office of Residence Life & Community Standards) endeavored to create a training for students, faculty and staff that builds awareness of the issues affecting LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual) persons, particularly during college life and on campus, as well providing training to develop skills for allies. As a joint venture between the Office of Residence Life & Community Standards and the Center for Counseling & Psychological Standards, Ally Space training began in the spring of 2013. The Office of Student Activities partnered in the fall of 2013 and hopes to continue these trainings.

The program works to create more bias-free campus spaces where LGBTQIA persons feel safe, supported, and valued as members of our college community. The program provides a 3-hour workshop for faculty, staff and students of the college. After completing the workshop, participants will be given the option to join the Ally Space network and display an official Drew Ally Space symbol in their office space or residence hall room. The symbol signifies the individual’s commitment to being a resource and an ally to LGBTQIA persons.

Our hope is not only to create a multitude of ally spaces on campus, but also, more generally, to shift the campus climate; by making these spaces proliferate around the University, by making visible, allies to the LGBTQIA population, we can display our already firm stance on and belief in inclusivity and acceptance for all Drew campus community members.

In the training you can expect to learn:

  • Coming out and identity development issues for LGBTQIA students
  • Definitions of common terminology
  • How heterosexism/homophobia affect LGBTQIA students
  • Campus climate issues
  • Ways to be inclusive, model non-heterosexist behavior, show your support and take a stand
  • Campus resources for LGBTQIA students
  • Ally skills such as making referrals and dealing with students in crisis

Who participates in the Ally Space Program?

Members of the Drew Community are invited to participate. This includes faculty, staff, students, and alumni. At this point, there are separate sessions for students and faculty and staff. Let us know if you’re interested in a mixed group of participants!

The program is voluntary and not intended to be used as a required training by Departments, supervisors or the University; however if an entire Department or portions of a Department are interested in group training, facilitators are more than willing to organize something that caters to the Department’s needs.

What does it mean to be an Ally Space at Drew?

Being an Ally Space at Drew means that you are an open and willing resource and ally for others who may have questions or concerns related to sexual and gender identities. It also means that you actively engage in creating a more open and accepting environment for LGBTQIA identified individuals and communities on and off Drew’s campus. If you choose, you can be added to the ally list on the Ally Space website and given an Ally Space sticker to post in your work area/room door!

Current trainers for Spring 2015 include:

Joe Mercadante, Resident Director, Office of Residence Life
Steph Mazzarella, Program Coordinator, Office of Student Activities
Jonathan  Murakami, Psy.D., Post-Doctoral Psychology Resident, McClintock Center for Counseling and Psychological Services 

How do I register for a training?

You may either register for a general training session or request a session for your department, unit, or student organization. To register as an individual for a general session, fill out the form below.  To inquire about a training for your department, unit, or student organization, please click here.

Have a group of people who are interested in training but can’t make the sessions? Email to request one!