The "Safe Zone" symbol is a message to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, asexual, intersex people, LGBTQAI+, and their allies. The message is that the person displaying this symbol is understanding, supportive and trustworthy if a LGBTQAI+ person needs help, advice or just someone with whom they can talk.
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.
RVC Safe Zones
Safe Zones are allies who have received RVC Safe Zone training to provide support, information, and referrals. Each Safe Zone may be identified with a program sticker.
Our Safe Zone Allies welcome and listen empathically to any LGBTQAI+ person who seeks their guidance or support, respects and protects the confidentiality of any LGBTQAI+ person who chooses to share, and responds as an ally to questions prompted by being a Safe Zone.
All trained Safe Zone 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.
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 LGBTQAI+ 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 LGBTQAI+ people or people perceived to be LGBTQAI+. 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 LGBTQAI+ 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 additional layer of discrimination to folks who are LGBTQAI+
Note: This should only be used as a general guide to get a feel for how some folks may self-identity and common terms/identities in the LGBTQAI+ 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 label others or divide folks, but instead to give people the power to label themselves and find the best way to communicate to the world who they are.
Glossary of Terms taken from The Safe Zone Training Initiative.
Safe Zone Locations
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).
- Keith Barnes, SC 2106
- Rachel Boge, SC 0124
- Tek Curry, SC 2101
- Kayla Doane, Financial Aid
- Rose Goodloe, SC 2111
- Michelle Graham, SC 2126
- Casey Hauser, SC 1212
- Ashli Horneij, SC 2314
- Marcia Houston, SC 2110
- Alina Llanas, SC 2120
- 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
- Sarah Russell, SC 2202
- 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
- David Dosier, CLI 2145
- 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, CLI 2119
Classroom Building II
- Yvonne Busker, CLII 114
- Robert D'Alonzo, CLII 242
- Megan Den Braven, CLII 115
- Danielle Hardesty, CLII 243
- Dawson Ingram, CLII G02
- Vicki Lay, CLII G05B
- Jennifer Nordstrom, CLII 148
- Kim Patterson, CLII 102
- Jen Thompson, CLII 240
- Tammy Whitehead, CLII 201
Educational Resource Center
- Sonnie Glusman, ERC 2420
- Lisa Mehlig, ERC 2434
- Jenn Mickelson, ERC 2440
- Anna Wandtke, ERC 2436
- Chris Wasson, ERC 1124
- Lukas Wenner, ERC 1114
Health Sciences Center
- Takesha Brooks, HSC 3106
- Amanda Lonsway, HSC 3164
Jacobs Center for Science and Math
- Joey Holmes, JCSM 1033
- Emma Toole, JCSM 0119
Support Services Building
- Brie Grable, SSB 1200
Woodward Technology Center
- Denise Anderson, WTC 1202
- Karin Blaski, WTC 2502
- Stephanie Wascher, WTC 2508
Aviation Career Education Center
- Cassie Peterson, ACEC 1013
Bell School Road Center
- Tammy Lewis, BELL 6
- Lori Romero, RVCD 2002
North Main Street
- Michele LaCount, Second Floor
- Adriana Londono, Room 1
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 community challenges.Access Community Resources
Rock Valley College's PAIC (Promoting an Inclusive Community) committee strives to lead the college community by enhancing and sustaining an institutional culture of equity and social justice that fosters diversity and inclusion. PAIC has several goals to support this mission.Learn About PAIC
RVC offers several resources surrounding Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion initiatives to support a sense of belonging for our entire campus community. Learn about campus resources like Chosen/Preferred First Name, Preferred Pronouns, and All-Gender Bathrooms.View DEI Resources