Positive Space Training
Positive Space at Trent
Background and Purpose
For many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans students, staff, and faculty, university life provides an important opportunity to "come out." This can be a difficult and confusing time, especially if they do not have anyone to whom they can talk or do not know the groups and resources that are available. As well, some queer members of the Trent community continue to report that they have encountered homophobic attitudes and behaviour at Trent.
The purpose of the Positive Space Program is to identify and encourage the development of positive spaces throughout Trent University. Positive spaces are locations in which sexual and gender identity is affirmed and individuals can receive support and information on lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (LGBTQ) issues.
Program participants can provide information and support. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans students, staff, and faculty will benefit by working in an environment where they are made to feel welcome. By establishing the Positive Space Program, Trent is making our campuses more inclusive and comfortable places for all community members.
Principles and Mandate
All spaces at Trent should be safe for all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.
While gender and sexual diversity are the focus, the program recognises the similarities and intersections among all forms of discrimination and the need to combat racism, sexism, ableism, classism, and ageism, in addition to homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, and heterosexism.
All people have the right to visibility, to acknowledgment of their sexual and gender identity, and access to resources.
Trent community members have a responsibility to challenge discrimination and contribute to a welcoming and inclusive environment.
The objectives of the Positive Space Program are as follows:
To increase the visibility of LGBTQ people, issues, and communities
To offer support and resources to individuals concerning LGBTQ issues
To strengthen the LGBTQ and ally communities on our campuses and in the surrounding communities.
Responsibilities of Program Participants
Participants are volunteers who have attended a Positive Space Information Session and registered with the Program. The responsibilities of participants are:
To display a Positive Space sticker in a place that clearly identifies the space or area designated as "positive," and to remove the sticker when moving out of the space
To provide information and support as requested, including information on the Program, relevant resources, LGBTQ issues, forms of discrimination and campus violence
To maintain appropriate relationships with Program users in accordance with the Trent Conflict of Interest Policy.
To maintain the confidentiality of people using the Program, even after ceasing to be a Positive Space participant.
To maintain an inclusive and discrimination-free space, to the best of your ability.
To increase knowledge of issues and resources relevant to LGBTQ people; to attend educational events organised by the Human Rights Committee whenever possible.