Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
February 5, 1999

Safe Zone stickers raise awareness, lend support, study shows

by Anne Dolan

Nearly half of the initial supply of 5,000 Safe Zone stickers were distributed in the first year of the program. Sponsors of the program recently presented some of the initial effects of Safe Zone, a sticker display campaign intended to help Iowa State's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people feel accepted and safe on campus.

About 40 percent of the stickers distributed were requested by faculty members, 24 percent by staff, 29 percent by students and 7 percent by Ames organizations and businesses.

The Safe Zone review included a qualitative study done last spring and summer by Nancy Evans, associate professor of education. The project included interviews, review of media coverage of the project and all correspondence received by the Safe Zone advisory board, and a "mapping" of where the stickers are on campus.

Evans said the project has increased visibility and awareness of LGBT people and issues and given LGBT students and staff a greater sense of support.

She also reported some stickers had been torn down or defaced and that posting stickers had provoked some conflict in shared office space.

Houston Dougharty, a member of the Safe Zone advisory board, said the project is continuing this year with private funding. (A P&S recruitment and retention grant helped launch the project in November 1997.) All employees hired since then will receive an invitation to receive Safe Zone stickers for their work sites.

Where the stickers are*

Building and number of stickers

Ross, 31

Lagomarcino, 28

Student Health Center, 23

Design, 21

Student Services, 19

Memorial Union, 16

Pearson, 16

Parks Library, 15

East Hall, 14

Carver, 11

Hamilton, 10

*Safe Zone stickers seen from building corridors; the count doesn't include stickers in personal offices not visible from the corridor.

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