Rock Valley College

Welcome to RVC's Safe Zone

The "Safe Zone" symbol is a message to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, asexual, intersex people, LGBTQ+, and their allies. The message is that the person displaying this symbol is understanding, supportive and trustworthy if a LGBTQ+ person needs help, advice or just someone with whom they can talk.

Our Mission

The mission of the Safe Zone Program is to provide a network of safe and supportive allies to the LGBTQAI+ community at Rock Valley College. The goal of this program is to provide a welcoming environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender persons by establishing an identifiable network of supportive persons who can provide support, information, resources, and a safe place for LGBTQAI+ persons within our campus community.


Training available to faculty, staff, and students.

Participation in Safe Zone is voluntary and entirely free. Safe Zone is funded and supported by Promoting An Inclusive Community (PAIC). If you would like to learn more about becoming a Safe Zone ally, please contact Lien Vu at

The following is a list of Safe Zone campus contacts at RVC by building. Each person listed is a trained Safe Zone ally and has chosen to be listed as such (name, room number).

All listed Allies have agreed to:

  • Visibly support the Safe Zone program by displaying the program sticker and responding as an ally to the questions it may prompt.
  • Provide support, information, and referral to individuals who approach a Safe Zone.
  • Continue to gain education about LGBTQAI+  issues.
  • Respect and protect the confidentiality of any LGBTQAI+ person who chooses to share.
  • Welcome and listen empathically to any LGBTQAI+  person who seeks their guidance or support.
  • Monitor individual prejudices and stereotypes about LGBTQAI+ people.
  • Maintain sensitivity to any individual language and actions that might negatively influence LGBTQAI+  people.
  • Maintain sensitivity to institutional practices that might negatively influence LGBTQAI+  people and work to change those practices.
  • Be visible and support LGBTQAI+ -positive activities.
  • Develop a more genuine and realistic professional relationship with LGBTQAI+ students, staff, or friends and family of LGBTQAI+ individuals.
  • Make a professional contribution to improving our campus environment and the lives of our students.

Safe Zone Locations at RVC



Student Center

Keith Barnes, SC 2106
Tek Curry, SC 2101
Kayla Doane, Financial Aid
Rose Goodloe, SC 2111
Michelle Graham, SC 2126
Casey Hauser, SC 1212
Ashli Horneij, SC 0114
Marcia Houston, SC 2110
Natalie Mahaney, SC 0114
Andrea McCauley, SC 2110
Icidora Medrano, SC 2104
Ana Mirnic, SC 2327
Luevinus Muhammad, SC 1122
Stephen Ramberg, SC 0120
Omar Ramirez, SC 1212
Claudia Seijas, SC 2314
Katelin Shiaras, SC 2320
Susan Stopoulus, SC 0124
Lien Vu, SC 2110
Margaret (Peggy) Westerman, SC 2124

Amanda Zika, SC 1102

Classroom Building I

Dan Blumlo, CLI 1137
Karen Courtney, CLI 2121
Tracy Hazen, CLI 0149
Julie Hernandez, CLI 2113
Rhonda Hutter, CLI 1125
Amanda Kieper, CLI 0147
Suzanne Miller, CLI 2145
Mathew Oakes, CLI 2117
Michelle Rotert, CLI 1147
Brian Wagner, CLI 1141
Terrence Wandtke, CL! 2119

Classroom Building II

Yvonne Busker, CLII 114
Robert D'Alonzo, CLII 242
Danielle Hardesty, CLII 243
Dawson Ingram, CLII G02
Vicki Lay, CLII G05B
Jennifer Nordstrom, CLII 148
Kim Patterson, CLII 102
Tammy Whitehead, CLII 201

Educational Resource Center

Sonnie Glusman, ERC 2420
Lisa Mehlig, ERC 2434
Jenn Mickelson, ERC 2440
Anna Wandtke, ERC 2436
Lukas Wenner, ERC 1114

Health Sciences Center

Amanda Lonsway, HSC 3164

Jacobs Center for Science and Math

Joey Holmes, JCSM 1033
Emma Toole, JCSM 0119

Support Services Building

Rachel Boge, SSB 1308
Jesse Wiles, SSB 2219

Woodward Technology Center

Denise Anderson, WTC 1202
Karin Blaski, WTC 2502

Deb Gilster, WTC 2208
Stephanie Wascher, WTC 2508

Other RVC Locations

Aviation Career Education Center

Elroy Hilbert, ACEC 1025

Bell School

Tammy Lewis, BELL 6

Glossary of Terms

Ally: A person who does not necessarily identify with a group, but still advocates for that group's rights.

Agender:  A person who does not identify themselves as having a particular gender.

Aromantic: In its broadest meaning, this umbrella term encompasses anyone who has a low or absent romantic attraction to others. Sexual relationships may be desired.

Asexual: In its broadest meaning, this umbrella term encompasses anyone who has a low or absent sexual attraction or interest in sexual activity. Intimate romantic/affectional relationships may be desired.

Biphobia: Negative feelings, attitudes, actions, or behaviors towards people who are, or are perceived to be, bisexual or pansexual. It may also be a fear of one's own bisexual or pansexual attractions.

Bisexual: A person who has the potential to be sexually and/or romantically attracted to men and women.

Cisgender: Often abbreviated as "cis", this term means that you are comfortable with the gender identity assigned to you at birth. This is the opposite of transgender.

Cissexism: Seen as subtle form of discrimination, this is the assumption that all people are, or should be, cisgender. This creates a system of advantages bestowed upon those who are cisgender.

Colorblindness: While often well intentioned, this is a failure to acknowledge race based differences and systematic racism which allows oneself to deny the lived experiences of people of color.

Closeted: A term often used for LGBTQ+ people who have not yet had the privilege to disclose their orientation or gender identity. This may be for safety, fear of rejection or other personal reasons.

Crossdresser: A cisgender person who dresses in clothing deemed inappropriate by society for the gender assigned them at birth. 

Demisexual: A person who only experiences sexual attraction to people that they have developed an emotional connection with.

Drag King & Drag Queen: A person who cross-dresses as a means of performance or entertainment.

FTM:  An abbreviated term Female-to-Male, this label is often adopted by people of of trans experience who was assigned female at birth but know themselves to be male.

Gay:  While most often associated with men, in its broadest meaning this is a person who is sexually and/or romantically attracted to people of the same gender.

Gender Binary: A classification system of gender into two distinct opposite forms of masculine and feminine whether by social system or cultural belief.

Gender Dysphoria: The deep discomfort a person who is transgender may experience with how their physical body aligns with their sense of self.

Gender Euphoria: The immense feeling of joy a person who is transgender may experience when their physical body aligns with their sense of self.

Gender Expansive: A person whose gender expression and/or identity broadens or overflows our binary cultural and societal expectations for men and women. Some people prefer this term to “gender non-conforming.”

Gender Expression: The part of a person's identity that is about expressing masculinity or femininity as influenced by society, culture and individual expectations.

Gender Fluid:  A person who does not identify themselves as having a fixed gender.

Gender Identity: The part of a person’s identity that is about their sense of self as male or female, neither or both.

Heterosexism: The systems of advantages bestowed on people who are heterosexual. It can also be the assumption that all people are, or should be, heterosexual and gender-conforming.

Homophobia: Negative feelings, attitudes, actions, or behaviors against LGBTQ+ people or people perceived to be LGBTQ+. It may also be a fear of one's own same- sex attractions.

Homosexual:  An outdated clinical term used to describe someone who is gay or lesbian. This is a dated term. Many prefer the terms: gay or lesbian.

Intersex: A person whose biological anatomy and/or genes vary from the expected male or female anatomy and/or genetics.

Latinx: This adjective relates to those of Latin American origin or descent and is the non-gendered alternative to "Latino" and "Latina".

Lesbian: A woman who is sexually and/or romantically attracted to other women.

LGBTQ+: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, plus so much more!

MTF: An abbreviated term Male-To-Female, this label is often adopted by people of of trans experience who was assigned male at birth but know themselves to be female.

Non-Binary: A person whose gender identity is not as a man or a woman. They may be both, neither, somewhere between, a different gender or no gender at all.

Onmigender: Treating all genders as one, without discriminating or distinguishing between them.

Pansexual: A person who is sexually and/or romantically attracted to people regardless of their gender identity, gender expression or biological sex. This term goes beyond a gender binary.

Polyamory: The practice of or desire for intimate relationships with more than one partner at a time. These relationships depend upon consent and knowledge of all involved.

Queer: A simple label to explain orientations, gender identities and/or gender expressions that do not conform to societal expectations. Some people view this as a term of empowerment and others strongly dislike this term.

Questioning: A person who is unsure about their orientation and/or gender identity.

Romantic Orientation: The part of our identity related to whom we are romantically attracted; also known as affectional orientation.

QTPOC/QTWOC: This abbreviation stands for Queer & Trans People of Color or Queer & Trans Women of Color and is rooted in the concept of intersectionality - which focuses on the intersections and interactions between various forms and systems of oppression including: Racism, Gender, Classism, Religious Oppression, ,and more. 

Sexual Orientation: The part of our identity related to whom we are sexually attracted. Transgender: In its broadest meaning, this umbrella term encompasses anyone whose gender identity does not correspond to the gender they were assigned at birth.

Transfeminine: Transfeminine is a term used to describe transgender people who were assigned male at birth, but identify with femininity to a greater extent than with masculinity.

Transmasculine: Transmasculine is a term used to describe transgender people who were assigned female at birth, but identify with masculinity to a greater extent than with femininity.

Transphobia: Negative feelings, attitudes, actions, or behaviors against transgender people or people perceived to be transgender. It may also be a fear of one's own gender non-conformity.

Transsexual: A person whose gender identity is not congruent with the gender they were assigned at birth. Medical and surgical interventions that bring congruency are typically desired. This is a dated term. Many prefer the terms: transgender or trans.

Two-Spirit: A Native American term for LGBTQ+ individuals with dual or multiple genders. It can mean having both a masculine and a feminine spirit. It has different meanings in different communities. Some Native individuals embrace this terms while others strongly dislike it.

Xenophobia: The dislike or prejudice of people from other countries or who are different. This can add an additioanl layer of discrimination to folks who are LGBTQ+

Note: This should only be used as a general guide to get a feel for how some folksmay self identity and common terms/identities in the LGBTQ+ community. Language is constantly changing. The best way to be an ally is to mirror the language of how someone self identities to you. We don't have these words to labelothers or divide folks, but instead to give people the power to label themselves andfind the best way to communicate to the world who they are.

Glossary of Terms taken from The SafeZone Training Initiative.

Sexuality and Gender Equality (SAGE) Student Club

Our mission is to provide a safe environment for LGBTQIA+ students and their allies to communicate with one another and create a support network for those who need it, and to educate the community and campus as a whole on LGBTQ+ topics and issues.

Pronoun Options in Eagle

EAGLE now supports pronoun options for students and faculty! 

You can now select personal pronouns to add to your user account. Personal pronouns will display after your name in various areas in EAGLE, including:

  • Comment Fields
  • Discussions
  • Inbox
  • People Page (Course and Groups)
  • User Navigation Menu
  • User Profile Page
  • User Settings Page

Follow these directions to learn how to add your pronouns!

Why add your pronouns?

Typically, society has taught us to make automatic assumptions about what pronouns to use for someone. If a person’s gender expression (the way they appear in terms of gender) seems to be male, we’d likely use he/him/his when talking about that person; if a person’s appearance seems to be female, we’d be likely to use she/her/hers. However, gender is not always that simple. Sometimes a person’s gender identity (the way the person identifies internally in terms of their gender) doesn’t align with their gender expression (the way they look). In addition, not everyone identifies strictly as male or female. So when a person shares their gender pronouns, they are simply taking the guesswork away for you! It’s their way of saying “when you refer to me using pronouns (opposed to by my name), these are the pronouns I’d like for you to use.”

All-Gender Bathrooms

Effective January 1, 2020: Provides that each single-occupancy restroom shall be outfitted with exterior signage that marks the single-occupancy restroom as a restroom and does not indicate any specific gender (rather than exterior signage indicating "all-gender" or "gender-neutral").

Classroom Building I (CLI)

CLI 0109

Educational Resource Center (ERC)

ERC 1430
ERC 1432

Health Sciences Center (HSC)

HSC 1302

Karl J. Jacobs Center for Science and Math (JCSM)

JCSM 0115
JCSM 0117

Chosen/Preferred First Name

Students who would like to use a name other than their legal first name within the campus community are able to enter a chosen first name, update an existing chosen first name, or delete an existing chosen first name through the Records Office.

Chosen first names will be viewable in the following ways:

  • Faculty/Instructors will see a student’s chosen first name, if one exists, and legal last name if they are granted permission. Otherwise, the legal first and last name will appear.  Use your chosen first name on scantrons, tests, and other items that are handed in since the instructor will see that chosen name on the roster.
  • Advisors and college administrative staff will see a student’s chosen and legal first name.
  • Online directories will display the preferred first name, if one exists, and legal last name, otherwise the legal first and last name.
  • The RVC student ID can display either the Chosen Name or Legal name.
  • Students who wish to enter or update a preferred first name should submit this attached form to the RVC Records Office, located on the 2nd floor of the Student Center.
  • Chosen Names can be printed on Diplomas and Certificates upon request.

Contact the Records Office at (815) 921-4250 or with questions about preferred first name for students.

What is my chosen first name? How can I set or change it?

Students may designate a chosen first name*, which certain College systems will then use. These systems include class rosters, the display name in Colleague, and the display name in a number of learning management systems (e.g., Eagle, Canvas, and Online Services), and most college directories. The College will also retain your full legal name, which is used when required by the College, such as in tax documents, contracts, academic transcripts, diplomas, and certain health records. For further details, students can refer to the Records Office.

To set or change your chosen first name:

Students - Please use this request form.

Acceptable uses of chosen first names include:

  • A middle name instead of first name
  • An abbreviated name (Rob instead of Robert, Manny instead of Emmanuel)
  • An Americanized name (Wendy instead of Haiyan)
  • A name to which you are in the process of legally changing
  • A name that better represents your gender identity

You may not use your chosen first name to misrepresent who you are, nor may you use any profane or offensive language in your preferred first name. Your chosen first name is subject to approval by College administration, and those who intentionally misuse the chosen first name option may be subject to disciplinary action.

A chosen first name may take several days to appear in all systems that display preferred first names.

Personal and Success Counseling

Rock Valley College Personal and Success Counseling’s mission is to prepare students for learning and personal success throughout life.  We educate and facilitate the growth of the whole person for living, learning, and coping in an unpredictable and diverse world. We work in conjunction with our colleagues across campus toward the promotion of a healthy campus environment for all those who learn and work at RVC by providing professional outreach and educational services and by fostering collaborative relationships across the campus.

To make an initial appointment, you can contact RVC's Personal and Success Counselor, Andrea McCauley at (815) 921-4105, or learn more here



The Liam Foundation

The Liam Foundation is the first LGBTQIA+ Resource Center in Rockford. They serve the LGBTQ+  community in our area by connecting folks to services. They also offer professional development trainings to other organizations to educate them on the unique challenges the community faces. You can connect with them by visiting or their Facebook page

Parents and Friends of Gays and Lesbians (PFLAG)

Mission: PFLAG promotes the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, their families and friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays provides opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity, and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity. Learn more and connect with PFLAG on their Facebook Page. 

Illinois American Civil Liberties Union

Our goal is an Illinois where LGBT persons can live openly, and our families are respected. Our LGBT work falls into 5 issue areas – relationship recognition, parenting, youth and schools, basic rights and liberties, and gender identity/expression. A cornerstone of discrimination against the LGBT community is a legal system that treats families of same-sex couples as legal strangers. Our primary goal in our fight for relationship recognition is to end of Illinois’ exclusion of lesbian and gay couples from access to marriage. Learn more on their website.

Equality Illinois

The mission of Equality Illinois is to secure, protect and defend equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Illinois. We envision a fair and unified Illinois where everyone is treated equally with dignity and respect and where all people live freely regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. Learn more at

The Department of Human Rights 

The Department of Human Rights administers the Illinois Human Rights Act. The Human Rights Act ("Act") prohibits discrimination in Illinois with respect to employment, financial credit, public accommodations and real estate transactions on the bases of race, color, religion, sex (including sexual harassment), national origin, ancestry, military status, age (40 and over), order of protection status, marital status, sexual orientation (which includes gender-related identity), unfavorable military discharge and physical and mental disability. 

The Human Rights Campaign

1104 14th St. NW Suite 200
Washington, D.C. 20005
(202) 628-4160

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

2320 17th St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 332-6483


Parents, Families, and Friends of Gays and Lesbians (PFLAG)

1101 14th St. NW 
Washington, D.C. 20005
(202) 638-4200

Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund

120 Wall St. Suite 1500
New York, NY 10005
212) 809-8585

Bisexual Resource Center

P.O. Box 400639
Cambridge, MA 02140

National Center for Lesbian Rights

870 Market St. Suite 57
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 392-6257

National Association of People with AIDS

1413 K St. NW 7th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005
(202) 898-0414

Out Proud

The National Coalition for Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth.

Queer Resources Directory

The Advocate

National Magazine devoted to LGBT issues.

National Queer Student Caucus

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth Resources

Lambda 10 Project

Financial Aid for LGB Students

Campus Pride

Resources, events & research on creating safer college environments for LGBTQ+ students.


A progressive organization whose mission is to support, education, and advocate for the rights and lives of transgender individuals and SOFFAs (Significant Others, Friends, Family, and Allies). 

GLMA (Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality

Healthcare resources, healthcare equality index, and advocacy.

GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network)

Resources, education, survey data, and networking around creating safe schools

Immigrant Equality

National LGBTQ+ immigrant rights organization. Advocates for and directly represents LGBTQ+ and HIV-positive people in the immigration system. 

National Black Justice Coalition

An American civil rights organization serving primarily lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

National Center for Transgender Equality

The nation's leading social justice advocacy organization pushing for life-saving change for transgender people.

National LGBTQ Task Force

Building the grassroots power of the LGBTQ+ community through education, activism, research, and resources.