Safe Zone Mission

As a welcoming campus, it's important for Mount Mercy to respond to the needs of the LGBTQ community. This often marginalized population has unique needs. Many LGBTQ people experience verbal, physical, and/or sexual abuse—solely because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Many individuals in the LGBTQ community also have spiritual and pastoral needs.

Safe Zone Training

In the spirit of Mercy and compassion, Mount Mercy offers Safe Zone training to the campus community for the purpose of education and to address any fears and/or misunderstandings about sexual orientation and gender identity. Safe Zone training will be held virtually this year, starting February 9th.

Register for Safe Zone Training

Safe Zone training is scheduled at least once per semester. Training is voluntary and open to students and employees. It will help the campus be an environment where LGBTQ students, faculty, and staff are assured physical and psychological safety, as well as spiritual and pastoral support, allowing them to focus on education and personal development.

As a Catholic and Mercy institution of higher education, we believe that all people are created in the image of a loving God, and because of that, all people have inherent dignity and worth. All people deserve to be treated with equal and utmost respect. It is within this spirit of dignity, identity, freedom, compassion, and care that Safe Zone training is offered.

Safe Zones create a space/place where lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender, queer/questioning and allies:
  • feel comfortable and safe.
  • can express any issues and concerns in an atmosphere of acceptance and support.
  • access informational and educational resources.
  • access information and resources on spiritual and pastoral support
  • feel accepted and integrated into the larger Mount Mercy campus community 

Safe Zone Training Completion

A visible sign of support should be displayed in the employee’s work space as a way of communicating to the LGBTQ community that Safe Zone training has been completed. Having a visible sign is not an indication that the owner identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, nor does it mean that those without Safe Zone signs displayed are unsupportive or uncaring.

Safe Zone Locations

Faculty and staff who completed the training will display a Safe Zone sign, showing their commitment to creating a safe place for people to have discussions about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning-related issues without fear of receiving negative responses or judgment.

It is critical for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning individuals to have safe spaces to seek support and understanding.

Identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning may lead to anger, fear, silence, and sometimes even violence. Because of this, a Mount Mercy Safe Zone sign helps identify these safe spaces on campus.

Below is a list of people who have completed the MMU LGBTQ Safe Zone Training. This is not an exhaustive list of people on campus who provide safe spaces; instead, it indicates people who have completed training. There are many individuals on campus who represent a safe space, but have not yet completed the training.

William Barr Matt Bejar Tammy Hansen
Robyn Clark-Bridges April Dirks Rhonda Martin
Dennis Dew Jen Lee Joseph Hendryx
Shea Francis Lisa Smith Michaela Dion
Nate Klein Deb O'Hara Jodee Reed
Mary Kay Van Oort Jennifer Rasmussen Sam Schneekloth
Patti Roman Jennie Schmidt Tom Castle
Kristy Raine Mary Vermillion Christine Feit
Danielle Rudd Richard Barrett Carol Heim
Belkis Suarez Aaron Jennings Jerry Sikkema
Paul Gavin Vicki Emanuel Malinda Poduska