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April 19, 2013
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) – The Multicultural Center at EOU is helping to send four students to the Power of One Conference at Boise State University, April 26-28.
Ikaika Alapa’i, Austin Saunders, Kodi Riebling and Sarah Pedersen will represent the university and give a presentation on “How to create a SAFE Zone on your campus.”
The SAFE Zone program was instituted at EOU in 2012 and currently operates under the umbrella of the Multicultural Center. Alapa’i led the creation and implementation of the program during his term as co-president for the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA), with assistance from the GSA advisor and director of the Counseling Center.
“I am proud that I had a hand in creating and implementing such a crucial program which has really changed our campus climate by making it more inclusive to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities,” said Alapa’i, who received funding from the Stanton-Webb Founders’ Scholarship program to cover his conference registration.
“I am also honored to present this topic at a Northwest regional conference in order to promote social change and empower others who would like to create a similar program, or improve current offerings on their campuses.”
Saunders is the GSA secretary and Riebling is a GSA member. Pedersen serves on the Student Council for Multicultural Affairs, as does Alapa’I, who is also a student staff member at the Multicultural Center.
Together, the EOU group will cover the creation and implementation of the SAFE Zone program, the types of educational materials and activities utilized in the training and the importance of being an ally to the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning) community. Other schools will also be invited to share what they have done with their programs.
Power of One is designed to encourage and empower LGBTQ college students, their allies, and the faculty and staff who support them. Content seeks to enrich students’ lives and promote healthy and safe communities on campuses and in society. The event is supported and recognized as part of the National Association of Student Affairs Professionals LGBTQA leadership conference.
Learn more about EOU’s SAFE Zone program at http://eou.orgsync.com/org/multiculturalcenter/safezone.
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