Safe Spaces

Safe Spaces InitiativeThe Safe Spaces Initiative is a University of Alberta initiative developed and implemented by the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services.

This Initiative is built on the premise that our University campuses should be safe places – physically, emotionally, and intellectually – for sexual and gender minority students, faculty and staff. This means that all students, faculty and staff are recognized, respected, and accommodated across identities and differences in all aspects of University life. Sexual and gender minority individuals on campus should feel free to express themselves without fear of judgment or criticism, and have their concerns addressed and needs supported by all University employees, policies, procedures, and facilities.

Request a Safe Spaces Workshop

Developed and delivered by the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services, Safe Spaces workshops address a number of key objectives related to sexual and gender minority inclusive practice, which include the opportunity to: 

  • Comfortably explore and engage with LGBTQ terminology;
  • Understand the lived and learned realities of sexual and gender minority students and staff;
  • Identify strategies for creating safe and inclusive working and learning environments;
  • Engage in a meaningful Q&A period; and
  • Identify useful campus and community resources and supports.

Workshops also highlight the Safe Spaces Campus Climate Survey conducted by iSMSS, which investigated students’ feelings about the U of A climate in relation to their sexual orientation and gender identity. Safe Spaces workshops strive to highlight meaningful strategies for creating an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere for students and staff of all sexual orientations and gender identities within the University of Alberta community. All workshops can be customized to individual group needs and requests. To book a workshop, please email:

Gender Inclusivity

The Office of the Registrar is continuing to take important steps towards fuller gender inclusivity at the University of Alberta. These changes, which encompass name changes, preferred first name usage, and gender marker changes, will help University of Alberta systems and the overall campus climate become more inclusive of our trans-identified and genderqueer students. More detailed information can be found here.

Gender Inclusive Housing

Gender Inclusive Housing is a housing option in which students are assigned a unit regardless of the students’ sex, gender, gender identity, or gender expression. Find out how to confidentially request this service here.

All-Gender Washroom Campus Map

The Gender-based Violence Prevention Project and the Safe Spaces Initiative have identified single use, all-gender washrooms and mapped them online in order to enhance washroom accessibility for trans-identified and genderqueer individuals on campus. To access this map, go to the UAlberta homepage, click on maps, and select North Campus. Then choose 'Quickfinds' and click on 'All-Gender Washrooms' or click here.

Contributing to Safe Spaces

The Safe Spaces Initiative is always looking for volunteers!  Among other things, volunteers are required to help facilitate meetings throughout the year, contribute to on-campus training sessions, submit articles or ideas to the iSMSS newsletter, participate in the UofA Pride Festival, promote Safe Spaces at resource tables periodically set up around campus, and help distribute information about Safe Spaces across UofA campuses. Best of all, volunteering with Safe Spaces is a very flexible time commitment!

Safe Spaces Network

The Safe Spaces Initiative has identified students and staff members across University of Alberta campuses to volunteer as Safe Contact people for sexual and gender minorities. These Safe Contacts have gone through a training session covering current issues, identified needs, and resources available at the UofA. The members of this Safe Staff Network have also contributed their ideas about how to further build a safe and supportive environment for sexual and gender minority students, staff, and faculty on our campuses.

Get the Safe Spaces Resource Listing hereThe University of Alberta Safe Spaces Campus Resource list, provides a detailed listing of supportive organizations, resources, and programs , which are supportive of sexual and gender minorities, issues, and concerns. 

Additional resources:

Safe Spaces brochure
*These resources are also available in French language by request.

For more information about the Safe Spaces Initiative, please:

Safe Spaces ListsrvSuscribe to University of Alberta Safe Spaces Listserv
Safe Spaces emailEmail:

Safe Spaces Report Card

The Safe Spaces Report card is a community indicator to see how we are doing as an institution in implementing the 26 recommendations from the University of Alberta’s Safe Spaces Climate Survey Report.

University of Alberta Safe Spaces Climate Report

As part of the University of Alberta’s Human Rights Week, we are pleased to release our greatly anticipated Safe Spaces Campus Climate Report! This report highlights the development, findings, and recommendations of the first research conducted on the campus climate for sexual and gender minority (LGBTQ) undergraduate students at the University of Alberta (Kinkartz, Wells, & Hillyard, 2013). Our safe spaces survey was sent to a random sample of 10,000 undergraduate students and had an impressive response of 2,046 students who completed the survey, which represents one of the largest and most Get the Safe Spaces Campus Climate Report herecomprehensive surveys of its kind to be conducted at a post-secondary institution in Canada.

UAPS Sexual and Gender Minority Community Liaison Officer

Peace Officer Stephanie HartwigPeace Officer Stephanie Hartwig is the Sexual and Gender Minority Community Liaison Officer for University of Alberta Protective Services (UAPS).

She is available to address any sexual orientation and gender identity questions or concerns related to the safety and security of those in the University of Alberta community. All inquiries are treated with the utmost confidentiality. She is available Monday to Friday 8:00am to 4:00pm by calling 780-492-5050 or emailing

*If you are fearful for your personal safety on campus please call
780-492-5050 to have UAPS dispatch a member to assist you immediately. We are available 24/7. 

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