Photo: Deborah Churchill

Positive Space opens residence doors

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By Deborah Churchill

The small rainbow-coloured triangle sticker you see on doors, knapsacks and binders around campus is becoming a well-known symbol for lesbians, gays and bisexuals.

The Positive Space Campaign, launched in October, is working to create a comfortable atmosphere for students to express themselves.

“There are more people supportive of lesbians, gays and bisexuals than a lot of people know,” said Wendy Roberts, coordinator of Harassment Prevention Services (HPS). The stickers allow those of us to show support, she said.

She said slurs, threats and hateful phone calls directed at lesbians, gays and bisexuals don’t occur every day, but happen enough on campus for there to be a need for the stickers.

“There have been occurrences that have made this office and security take note and look at ways of combating the hate and the exclusion and the fear,” she said.

The service wants people to see the symbols as a sign. “I can let my guard down. I can be who I am. That person has the symbolic open-door,” Roberts said.

Roberts will address concerns about defaced posters and torn down stickers at a meeting on the 10th floor of the International Living and Learning Centre.

Steven Wright, residence life coordinator, and Stephanie Stoddard, residence life programmer, have taken a proactive approach in launching the campaign in residence. During a half hour presentation to each floor, Wright said they “asked people to close their eyes and imagine themselves in the shoes of a gay person.”

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