Safe Zone

 safe zone


  • To make it possible to easily identify individuals who are empathetic and informed about LGBT issues who are willing and able to provide support, information, and confidentiality.
  • To show a concrete example that Roanoke College supports LGBTQIA+ people and is working to educate and raise awareness within the Roanoke College community.
  • To provide participants with a solid foundation of understanding of developmental, social, and emotional experiences of a LGBTQIA+ person.
  • To increase the education of concerned individuals and allow for self-reflection of personal biases and/or issues to the topic of LGBTQIA+ people.

How to Become a Safe Zone Member

SafeZone Training is offered several times a year in two parts. The first part consists of the basics: common terminology, some guides, and suggestions on creating a Safe Zone. The second part is a more in depth, closer look at what it means to truly be an ally. These sessions are open to faculty, staff, and students. Private or group training sessions can be requested. There is no cost to participate in the SafeZone Training.


If you have any questions, contact Jimmy Whited

The role of a Safe Zone Member

The main role as a Safe Zone member is VISIBILITY. Safe Zone members are expected to post their Safe Zone sticker in a visible area. This should also be an area which is under your control. For example, if you share an office, you should not hang the sticker on your office door, but rather on your own desk or personal space, in order to not falsely include non-Safe Zone members who may not feel comfortable in that role.

Once they have identified themselves and their space as a Safe Zone, they are expected to provide support, resources, and referrals to individuals who choose to approach you. They are also expected to maintain the students' confidentiality and requests for privacy.

Should a Safe Zone member need further information, they are strongly advised to contact the Counseling Center and/or one of the area organizations.

Safe Zone is not meant to be a support group, or to be substituted for therapeutic sessions with a clinical psychologist. In situations where a Safe Zone member feels that the student may need to speak to a professional, they are encouraged to refer him/her to the Counseling Center. They are advised to NOT handle emotionally unstable students, or situations where they believe the student or someone else may be in danger, on your own. Their role is to let them know where they can turn for help if they need it.

Safe Zone Participants

Scott Allison
Director, Athletics

Amanda Beard
Associate Director of Residence Life & Housing

Jennifer Berenson
Professor/Chairperson of Religion/Philosophy

Kelly Dalaski
Assistant Director of Student Orientation & Development

Tracie Gilmer
Associate Director of Admissions for Web & Communications

Mollie Guzo
Staff Counselor

Gregory Hanlon
Associate Director of Alumni & Family Relations

Sophia Kachur

Christopher Lassiter
Professor, Biology

Pat LeDonne
Senior Associate Director, Admissions

Sandy McGhee
Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Student Health/Counseling Services

Teresa Milbrodt
Assistant Professor, English & Communication Studies

Joe Mills
Director of Campus Safety

Tom Rambo
Dean of Students

Tanya Ridpath
Director, Community Programs

Associate Professor

Bryan Ryberg
Associate Dean of Admissions

Cathy Sarisky
Professor, Chemistry

Amanda Smolinsky
Visiting Assistant Professor, Biology

Susan Tamez
Nurse, Student Health & Counseling

Melanie Thacker
Nurse Manager

Sally Walker
Director of Alumni & Donor Relations

Jimmy Whited
Director of Residence Life & Housing

Lauren Wood
Coordinator for Alumni & Family Relations