What kinds of activities does SafeZones do?

Over the years, SafeZones has developed a curriculum for trainings that aims to engage WashU students in thoughtful discussion, self-reflection, and moves towards a more inclusive campus. The activities we use in facilitations can range from low to high risk, meaning that activities fall on a spectrum of emotional involvement and intensity. It’s up to the facilitators to tailor the training to fit the needs of the group they train. For instance, a facilitation for Uncle Joe’s Peer Counseling will look a lot different than one for a freshman floor.

Here are some activities that SafeZones offers: pronoun practice, community walk, stereotypes activity, coming out activity, phobia activity, gender box activity, and more.

Regardless of the discussion we are facilitating, the training will always begin with ROPES, an acronym that defines our community standards for discussions, and a review of the identities on the LGBTQIA* acronym, to establish a common ground for language and definitions.

How long are facilitations?

1-2 hours. We encourage at least 1.5 hours for a more effective and thorough facilitation.

How often do you have facilitations?

It depends a lot on the time of year. Sometimes we have several in one week, and sometimes we have weeks without any facilitations. At least once a year we have Open Ally Facilitations, where we have a workshop open to any WashU students. If you are interested in getting more information about an open session, email us and ask when the next one is.


For Prospective/New Facilitators

What will I be doing if I join SafeZones?

If you join SafeZones, you will be joining a community of people working to educate the WashU community about LGBTQIA* identities and experiences. You will be able to help facilitate workshops on these issues with groups of fellow students, and may help us put on programming designed to educate the larger community about LGBTQIA* issues and identities, including panels, open trainings, or tabling events. You will also attend general body meetings and be invited to our group’s social events, including potlucks!

What is the process of becoming a SafeZones facilitator?

To become a SafeZones facilitator, you must first fill out a fairly simple application about your motivations for becoming a SafeZones facilitator and any experience you may have (although experience is in no way necessary to apply). You will then go through New Facilitator Training to learn all of the material and facilitation skills, then you will shadow a facilitation, and then you will be a SafeZones facilitator!

How much training do facilitators go through?

New Facilitator Training is 20 hours total and takes place on two consecutive weekends. It lasts 6-7 hours for each of three days. After training, new facilitators must shadow one facilitation performed by two other established facilitators. Once you’ve been trained once, you do not need to be trained again, though we typically have a GBM focused on refreshing facilitation skills on a regular basis.

How much of a time commitment is being a SafeZones facilitator?

The time commitment to be a SafeZones facilitator is relatively flexible. In order to become a facilitator you must go through New Facilitator Training, which is a 20-hour training covering two weekends (three days) early in the semester. After NFT, active members are expected to attend general body meetings (1 hour every other week) and to facilitate one workshop each semester (1-2 hours). If you’re interested in getting more involved, you can always sign up for more facilitations or become involved in planning events by joining exec.

What if I can’t do many/any facilitations this semester?

We understand if you have a busy schedule and aren’t able to put in a lot of time to facilitate trainings. We encourage all active members to facilitate at least one training each semester, but if you can’t do that, we understand. Getting trained during New Facilitator Training is still a really important part of helping improve our community, regardless of whether or not you go on to facilitate workshops. And if you want to begin facilitating trainings after not having the time to do so for a semester (or a few semesters), we have meetings each semester to brush up on facilitation skills.

Do I need to already have facilitation experience to become a part of SafeZones?

Absolutely not. The training is designed to prepare you, not just through knowledge, but also through skills. Facilitation skills are a major part of the curriculum. Additionally, once trained, new facilitators shadow more experienced members for their first workshops.

Can I participate in training even if I am not able to be a SafeZones facilitator?

Everyone is welcome to participate in New Facilitator Training. We recognize that it can be hard to make time in your schedule to become a part another student group, and if you’re willing to just take the time to get trained, we are happy to have you! More SafeZones Trained Facilitators in the WashU community is only a positive thing! That being said, we encourage you to keep an open mind about staying on after training. We are always in need more people facilitating workshops on campus!

What fun things do facilitators do?

In addition to facilitations and events (which can be fun if that’s your thing!) SafeZones has fun social events for its facilitators. These include social and self care activities at GBMS and… POTLUCKS! We have at least two group potlucks each semester, and they are great fun! Join SafeZones and be merry!