SG Documents

Bakersfield College/Bakersfield (BC) - SGA Safe Space Program


Bakersfield College Safe Space

Who, Where, What, Why, and When ?

Who are we? The Bakersfield College Safe Space program

The Bakersfield College Safe Space program was created by the SGA as a way for members of our College to create a supportive environment for the LGBTQ community. "Safe Spaces" are places on our campuses where the college representatives have decided to publicly identify themselves as making an effort to understand and support the needs of the LGBTQ community. LGBTQ, what's that?
LGBTQ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Questioning. What if I am not LGBTQ, can I participate in this program?

Absolutely, you would be called an "ally." An ally is anybody who actively tries to create a supportive environment for members of the LGBTQ community. In some places, the term ally is actually reserved for "straight people" who support the LGBTQ community. In the same way different countries that support each other are "allies," straight people supporting people with different sexual identities act as allies. However, at Bakersfield College, we have decided to use ally in a slightly different sense. Here, an ally is anybody (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, or straight) who makes an effort to understand and support the LGBTQ community.
Does this mean that people who don't participate in this program are "anti-LGBTQ"? Of course not! Besides those who simply don't know about the program or have yet to complete the training process, there are several reasons for not participating in the Safe Space program. One reason is that participating in the program involves placing a Safe Space placard at the entrance of a person's workspace, and some people simply prefer not to place labels on their door. Also, everybody who works in a shared workspace must first agree to identify their area as such before the sticker can be used. However, rather than try to list reasons for not participating, we will just say that we are a diverse campus that has diverse reasons for participating or not participating in this program. In short, you don't have to participate in this program to be an ally.

Where can I find a Safe Space? Click on the map below to enlarge it and find the designated Safe Spaces on campus. (Map Coming Soon)

What do I have to do to make my workspace a "Safe Space"? Participation is easy. First, have an interest in better understanding and supporting the needs of the LGBTQ community. Second, attend a training workshop where we discuss and try to understand ourselves better and some issues pertinent to the LGBTQ community. Third, check with the people in your workspace and be sure they are okay with the space being identified as a Safe Space. Fourth, place the Safe Space placard you will receive after training at the entrance of your workspace. Finally, be supportive of the needs of people looking for a Safe Space!

Why do people participate in this program? Probably the main reason for participating involves a desire to create a safe and supportive environment for the LGBTQ population to contribute to our college life without fear of harassment or discrimination.

Isn't it a bit dramatic to assume the LGBTQ population lives in "fear of harassment or discrimination"? Actually, the fear is quite real and justified. Consider the following nationwide statistics provided by

"84.6% of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed, 40.1% reported being physically harassed and 18.8% reported being physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation."

"29.1% of LGBT students missed a class at least once and 30.0% missed at least one day of school in the past month because of safety concerns, compared to only 8.0% and 6.7%, respectively, of a national sample of secondary school students."

"The reported grade point average of students who were more frequently harassed because of their sexual orientation or gender expression was almost half a grade lower than for students who were less often harassed (2.7 vs. 3.1)."

The 2010 State of Higher Education for Lesbian, gay, Bisexual and Transgender People College Climate Survey report at reveals "chilly" campus climate toward LGBT people, high rates of harassment and lack of safety, inclusiveness in policies, programs and practices across the country. National research has consistently shown that LGBT youth in kindergarten through high school encounter alarming rates of harassment, discrimination and bullying but what happens when these youth go to college?

But there is good news!
According to GLSEN, "Having a Gay-Straight Alliance in school was related to more positive experiences for LGBT[Q] students, including: hearing fewer homophobic remarks, less victimization because of sexual orientation and gender expression, less absenteeism because of safety concerns and a greater sense of belonging to the school community."

When are the Safe Space training workshops? Safe Space training is open to students, staff, faculty, and administrators. Call 661.395.4051 or email us at to register to attend a training session.

Spring 2012 Safe Space Training Dates
Saturday, February 11, 2012
1:00-4:00 p.m.
 Panorama Campus- E Board Room
 Refreshments provided
Monday, March 19, 2012
 4:00 p.m-7:00 p.m. 
 Delano Campus
 Refreshments provided
Thursday, April 19, 2012
 1:00-4:00 p.m.
 Panorama Campus- E Board RoomRefreshments provided
Register online via the Portal or send email to

Information courtesy of