​​ The California State University is committed to providing an inclusive, safe living and learning environment for all students including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) students. Each of the 23 CSU campuses offers services, support and community for LGBTQ students, faculty and staff.

Campus Pride Centers give LGBTQ students support and programming that helps to create a safer and more inclusive learning environment.

One of these programs, called a Safe Zone or Ally program, brings the entire campus together as allies for the LGBTQ community. A number of campuses including Fullerton, Dominguez Hills, Long Beach, Northridge, ​Pomona, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Marcos, and San Luis Obispo have implemented an Ally program.

Allies are members of the campus community that participate in an optional training workshop in which they learn about LGBTQ topics and terminology, receive resources and referral info, interact with a panel of LGBTQ students, and discuss how to be an LGBTQ Ally. 

After a student or employee completes the training, they get a button or sticker to display outside their office or residence hall room or a button to display on their backpacks. It's more than just a sign of support. It immediately identifies them as an ally to the LGBTQ community, and students know that they have someone there who is willing to offer safe and confidential support, listen to their concerns, or help them access campus resources.

CSU Dominguez Hills Associate Director of Student Services Lui Amador says that the buttons and stickers around campus also serve as a constant reminder that it is a safe, supportive, and inclusive community for all students. 

Amador directs CSUDH's Safe Zone program, which he says was implemented partially in response to the tragic event when a Rutgers University student committed suicide in 2010.

"We were shocked and saddened by the incident and just wanted to know what we could do to make sure something like this wouldn't happen here," Amador said. "We wanted them to know that it gets better, and there's always going to be someone on campus who's there for them."

So far there's been a significant response. Campuses that have implemented the program now have hundreds of Allies. 

"I know it's been beneficial for them, and everyone on campus."

Learn more about the CSU's commitment to the LGBTQ community here .