Presidential perspective: Student gov

Diversity makes our university better. One of the ways it does this is by forcing us to consider opinions and lifestyles that are unfamiliar to us and may even make us uncomfortable. These new situations present opportunities for personal growth but they unfortunately may also lead to hostility toward those who are different than us.
The vision statement for the Diversity Advisory Council states that ?Carnegie Mellon will be a university where all members of our community feel a sense of belonging, perceive that their contributions are valued and respected, and view the environment as one in which they can flourish.? The SafeZone program seeks to fulfill part of this vision by building a network of allies of those going through issues of gender identity and sexual orientation. These allies identify themselves through the easily recognizable SafeZone symbol that declares a space to be safe and supportive for people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. SafeZone ensures that members of the GLBT community know that there are people with whom they can safely discuss personal problems without facing discrimination in any possible form.
To join this network, all you have to do is fill out a short application and attend a three-hour training session. I participated in one of these sessions last semester and now proudly display a SafeZone sticker on the door of my office on the third floor of the University Center. The next session will be held on Sunday, February 13, and is open to all members of the campus community. The application for this session is available on the web at and is due by next Monday, February 7. All applications should be turned in to Rowshan Palmer in Student Affairs, Warner Hall 301, or by e-mail to
SafeZone members agree to maintain confidentiality, use inclusive language, and avoid stereotyping, thereby reducing homophobia, biphobia, and heterosexism on our campus. Even if you do not participate in SafeZone training, it is important to treat all members of the campus community with dignity and respect. We should embrace our differences and value our diversity. Harassment and intolerance are unacceptable in any form.
Students with issues of gender identity or sexual orientation can also visit SoHo, Carnegie Mellon?s Resource Center for GLBT Concerns, located in room 234 of the Old Student Center. For more information about SoHo, e-mail
ALLIES is a student organization that is composed entirely of people that support the GLBT community. In honor of National Freedom to Marry Day on February 12, the organization is currently collecting photographs and stories for an upcoming exhibit about what it means to be a family at Carnegie Mellon. If you would like to share your family ? whether it be a team, student organization, or other family group, broadly defined ? e-mail

Please do not hesitate to visit the Student Body President during his office hours ? Wednesdays from 4:30 to 6:30 pm ? or e-mail