- To affirm and show commitment for the idea that UBC is enriched and enlivened by the diversity of its community, including LGBQTTI persons.
- To increase the visibility of and contribute to the development of positive, supportive people and spaces for LGBQTTI students, staff and faculty at UBC.
- To increase awareness and education around sexual and gender identity and diversity issues.
- To increase the number of knowledgeable, supportive persons who are willing to speak out against homophobia, heterosexism and transphobia, and
- To support lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender, transsexual, two-spirit and intersex colleagues, classmates and community members.
No. This campaign does not intend to set up a new counselling or complaint resolution network on campus. Staff and faculty already have counselling available through Human Solutions, the Employee Family Assistance Program and students have options such as the Counselling Services and Student Health.
Anyone with a concern about discrimination and harassment on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity has access to the Equity Office for complaint resolution or they can contact their Administrative Head of Unit, employee or faculty association, union or student services for assistance.
Positive Space resource persons will receive education and training in some LGBQTTI issues and resources and are expected to be supportive of these issues, but are not expected (or trained) to provide counselling. This campaign is for everyone who is, or wants to be, LGBQTTI positive.
Displaying a poster or button means that you are supportive of these issues and have some knowledge about them, but it does not mean that you should be prepared to offer counselling. If a situation arises in which you feel that the person who has approached you needs more assistance that you are able and willing to give, you should refer that person to one of the other resources on or off campus. Everyone who participates in the training will be given a description of the resources that do exist. Most people, whether they are LGBQTTI or not, will not be looking for counselling. They will just want a supportive, affirmative person to talk with.
Positive respect and support for all such groups is certainly a desirable goal and several units and groups on campus do work for the positive inclusion of all “equity” groups in various ways. However, unlike some other visible differences that can lead to the discrimination and harassment of other disadvantaged groups, a distinctive result of the oppression and marginalization of persons based on their sexual orientation or gender identity is that sexual and, to a lesser degree, gender diversity can be hidden.
Many LGBQTTI persons remain closeted in all or some parts of their lives, including in their work or study lives at UBC. Due to the hostile environment in this society in which many LGBQTTI persons grow up and live, they may assume negative views and reactions to their sexual orientation or gender identity unless given strong indications that this will not be the case. Many LGBQTTI faculty, staff and students live in constant fear of “discovery” and take great pains to hide this aspect of themselves. Thus, an erroneous assumption is made that there are few LGBQTTI persons at UBC so their issues seem to take less precedence or become invisible. LGBQTTI persons are oppressed in ways that encourage and maintain their invisibility, thus a campaign such as this, which focuses on visibility is an effective way to help counteract this.
Everyone who receives a Positive Space poster must attend a training session on issues of sexual and gender diversity. Resource persons must make the commitment to attend a session and then sign a pledge before receiving the poster.
Additionally, if someone who has qualified to be a resource person is found to be misusing their position and the program for reasons other than why the Campaign was established, they will be asked to remove their poster and to cease their participation in the program.
The posters and buttons should only be applied to your personal possessions and in your designated UBC spaces (residence rooms, offices). If you share a workspace, please check with your colleagues before displaying the poster. Only those who have attended training can display the poster so if you share space (eg. a front counter), you will want to make your poster portable and bring it to the area only when you are present or post your name and hours when you will be available for assistance.
Please respect the property and space of others and only display your posters or buttons in designated areas. Please do not display the posters in common UBC spaces such as elevators, stairwells and the like because they will likely be removed.
If you notice that a poster has been defaced or improperly used, please contact the Positive Space Coordinator as soon as possible so that it can be fixed.
Yes. Everyone who wishes to be a resource person must attend the initial training session. (Sorry, no exceptions.) There are people on campus who likely don’t need this training or don’t have time to attend a session, but mandatory attendance is important for a number of reasons. The training is one way we have of screening potential resource persons to help ensure that those with negative motives do not become resource persons and use the Positive Space poster to make contacts with people for reasons other than those stated in the objectives of the program.
Although the training is short and, thus, cannot be comprehensive, it is also a way to ensure that all resource persons have at least a basic understanding of some of the key issues they, or the persons who contact them, may face. Those people who are already well versed in these issues will have lots to contribute in the training session and be an asset to fellow participants. The training sessions are also opportunities to meet and network with other resource persons which is very important as we are support persons for each other. Lastly, attending the training is evidence of commitment to the program and understanding of the roles of a resource person.