Kwantlen university eyes campus safety with LGBTQ initiative

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) has teamed up with the local not-for-profit PeerNetBC for the design and implementation of workshop curriculum in support of school’s Positive Space Campaign campaign.

A Positive Space Campaign is an effort to raise awareness, education and support for the needs and support of LGBTQ members in a community.

As a partnership between KPU’s student services and human resources departments, the Kwantlen Pride Student Collective and the Kwantlen Student Association (KSA), completion of training will result in a recognized designation for participating students, faculty and staff as Positive Space Campaign members and allies.

“A Positive Space Campaign is an important next step for KPU to ensure that our campuses are safe, vibrant and diverse spaces where all members of our community feel respected and included,” said Joshua Mitchell, director of student engagement at KPU and one of the initiative’s co-sponsors.

The campaign aims to: affirm KPU’s commitment to enrich and enliven the diversity of its community; increase the visibility of, and capacity for, positive, supportive advocates and spaces for LGBTQ students, staff and faculty; and increase awareness, affirmation and education around sexual and gender identity and diversity issues.

“PeerNetBC is looking forward to working with KPU, the Kwantlen Pride Student Collective and the Positive Space Campaign. The Positive Space Campaign is an important step in the ongoing commitment of KPU to build capacity in providing support and services that ensure education and life at KPU is safe, vibrant, celebrated and diverse for all communities,” said Lydia Luk, community developer at PeerNetBC.

Matthew DiMera, a journalism student, is long-time advocate for social justice and inclusivity programming at KPU.

“Students like myself look forward to partnering with PeerNetBC to mentor the next generation of social justice leaders on campus with this campaign,” he said.

With work set to begin this month, PeerNetBC – along with university staff and students sponsoring the project – expect a full program roll-out in early 2015, with trained staff and students able to sustain and expand the program over time.f

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