Content Skip to content.
San Diego State University

@State - the SDSU Student Newsletter

LGBTQI Community Celebrates in October

Learn about events for SDSU's LGBTQI* community and its allies slated for the month of October  (*Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, and Intersex)




Five years ago, a series of homophobic events on the SDSU campus sparked transformation and growth of support services for members of the LGBTQI community.

Image: safezones@sdsu logo

One of those things was the creation of SafeZones@SDSU. The SafeZones program has 2 components:

  1. An ally training program that teaches individuals how to be effective listeners and provide support to LGBTQI people
  2. A social programming effort to increase LGBTQI awareness and events across campus

SafeZones Celebration October 10

SafeZones@SDSU is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year and will unveil its new, student-designed logo, at an event held Oct. 10 in conjunction with National Coming Out Day.

The event will include comments from President Elliot Hirshman, a panel discussion with members retelling their coming out stories and refreshments. All members of the campus community are welcome.

Photo: Carrie SakaiCarrie Sakai, a co-chair of the SafeZones@SDSU program, said the program’s biggest goal was to increase the visibility of allies and make the campus a safer environment more conducive to a positive educational experience for all.

“Although the term SafeZone sounds like it’s describing a space it’s really describing a person,” Sakai said. “That person is an ally, and that ally makes the space safe for the person seeking support.

A person is identified as a SafeZone after completing a 3-hour training offered on campus twice each semester. The trainings draw from several sources, and Sakai added that custom trainings have also been created for specific groups including those working at Student Health Services and the SDSU Police Department.

Those who have completed the training are given a sticker, to demonstrate for others that they are a SafeZone, as well as a button to wear or place on a bag they regularly carry.

Interested?  Apply through the SafeZones@SDSU website.


SDSU Achieves 5-Star Rating

As a result of work by people across campus, San Diego State University is one of a handful of schools to receive a 5-star rating from Campus Pride, a national nonprofit organization that works to create a safer college environment for LGBTQI students.

More than 380 colleges and universities are ranked on the organization’s website and of those only 14 percent have received the 5 star rating on the index indicating the LGBTQI friendliness of a campus based on a number of factors.


Y.E.S. Conference, Oct.5

Image: National Coming Out Day logo In addition to the events related to National Coming Out Day, another pride-filled event will be on campus this October.

SDSU will be hosting the Y.E.S. San Diego Conference on campus, all day Saturday, Oct. 5.

Y.E.S., which stands for Youth Empowerment Synergy, has a mission to ensure that all San Diego youth are treated with dignity and respect. The annual conference is designed to break down barriers between young people between the ages of 13 and 24, and their parents through participating in workshops and seminars on topics such as career aspirations, relationships and spirituality.

C. Anthony Keen, Resident Hall Coordinator for University Towers and the newly appointed coordinator for the SDSU PRIDE Center said he hopes interested SDSU students and professionals will participate in the conference which features a full day of workshops between 8 am and 5 pm.

“We’re thrilled this event is here at SDSU this year,” Keen said. “We’d love to see the event continue to grow as a resource for all San Diego youth.”

For more information on the conference, visit


PRIDE Center Slated to Open in Spring 2014

Keen will have a full plate this fall as he not only works with organizers of the Y.E.S. San Diego Conference, but also solidifies plans and develops programming for the new SDSU PRIDE Center, set to open in spring 2014.

Photo: C. Anthony Keen“There has only been a strong desire to have a space for the LGBTQI community on this campus,” Keen said. “There are a lot of groups who have been doing incredible work on this campus, but without a unifying location it was sometimes difficult to remain current with what everyone was doing. The center will allow people from all of those groups to sit at the same table — which means a lot of amazing things can happen.”

Keen officially starts in his role as PRIDE Center Coordinator Oct. 1, and his first orders of business will be to work on grand opening events for the center, as well as hiring graduate and student assistants to work in the center.

The PRIDE Center is a one of the goals identified in the university’s strategic plan under the initiative to “promote students success across the university.”



Photo: C. Anthony Keen and Thomas Negron