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Queer Assumptions: An Outcome-Based Program Evaluation of Eastern Michigan Universitys LGBTQ Safe Campaign Training Program


What are Safe ProgramsSocial StigmaUnsafe school environmentsHarassmentStudents harming themselvesNot successful in schoolTeachers & Administrators ignorant about best practicesQueerphobia is often perpetuated by the social institution of schoolGLSEN. (2010)


Goals of the Safe CampaignLGBTQ identity & expression

Dispelling misrepresentations of LGBTQ individuals & issues

Talk about how it works how long where etc.


EMUs Reputation2012 Top Ten list for LGBT-Friendliest Campus ClimatesAwarded 4.5 out of 5 stars Findings based on survey results of thousands of LGBTQ individuals representing their schoolsCampus Pride- LGBT- Friendly Campus Climate Index: National Assessment Tool. 2010

However, this is not an evaluation of specific programs, rather it is based on the participantsPerceptions of their given campus climate.

This suggest that EMUs LGBTQ center is making an impact.


Focus of LiteratureImplementationQueerphobicLG mentoring programsSafe Zone symbol impactCampus Climate


Major Research Questions about KnowledgeDoes participating in a single Safe Campaign session increase ones level of knowledge of LGBTQ topics?

Is ones level of knowledge influenced by socio-demographics?

Does knowledge change vary by socio-demographic factors?



H1= Will lead to an increase in knowledge about LGBTQ individuals and issues.

H2= Ones initial (T1) level of knowledge is impacted by sociodemographics.

H3= Knowledge change (T2) is impacted by sociodemographics.

HypothesesAs a result of participating in a single SAFE session:

AgeGPAMajorYear in schoolGenderSex OrientationPolitical partySocial ViewRaceImmigrant vs. Non-immigrantContact Contact typeFrequency of contactReligiosity


The extended-contact hypothesisThe learning theoryThe social-cognitive developmental theoryThe cognitive-development theoryThe socialization theory 12 345

Theories often used to explain social interventions

1.) Wright, McLaighlin-Volpe & Ropp knowledge that an in-group member has a close relationship with an out-group member can lead to more positive intergroup attitudes2.) one learns & can therefore unlearn stereotypes & prejudice (Bigler 1999). 3.) branched from the learning theory, asserts that people learn by observing how others behave, and others behaviors impact ones cogitative processes (Bandura, 1989, Pfeifer,et al. 2007) . It is concerned with the interplay between thought and behavior, behavior and thought. In which ones thinking shapes their environment and the environment influences ones thinking. 4) focuses on childrens prejudice attitudes arguably influenced by their lack of cognitive sophistication or narrow-mindedness resulting in a lack of tolerance. It is argued that the skills to reduce prejudice are not obtained until the child reaches seven to eleven years old (Levy et al. 2004). 5) argues that prejudice is acquired through a process of social learning not because a child has immature cognitive processes (Aboud & Levy 2000).


Theoretical FrameworkSocial Representations theoryIt is the continual process of negotiation between individually kept perceptions and social interactions that act as a forces pressuring ones cognitive process of rationalization to apply new meanings being provided by the social intervention.

SociodemographicsIn the Literature Added to this studyAge Social ViewGender More appropriate measures for religiosity Sexual OrientationRaceAcademic Class StandingGPAAcademic MajorRaceReligiosityPolitical Party AffiliationContact with LGBTQ

Study DesignPre-test Post-test

Quantitative(N=126) Qualitative (N=6)Knowledge of LGBTQ topics Faculty InterviewsParticipant AssessmentsAttitudes toward LGAttitudes toward T


Agree or Disagree

Measuring KnowledgeAs far as you know, most transgender people identify as LG.I think children raised by LGB parents are more likely to be gay.As far as you know, it has been scientifically proven that gay men are largely responsible for the spread of HIV/AIDS.In the state of Michigan it is legal to fire individuals for being LGBTQ.As far as you know, gays and lesbians cannot have children.To be gay is only a phase they can be changed or cured.As far as you know, LGBTQ individuals are not religious.As far as you know, there are anti-bullying or harassment policies on a federal level that protect LGBTQ students in schools.


Student ParticipantAssessment QuestionsThe SAFE training session I attended was very informative I would recommend this SAFE training program to others I feel I am now more aware of LGBTQ issuesI feel I am now more sensitive about the obstacles that LGBTQ individuals faceI feel my attitudes have become more supportive or positive toward LGBTQ individuals and issuesI think I will become more supportive of LGBTQ rights

The strengths/benefits How it help their studentsThe highlight(s) of their experienceAreas in need of improvementIf they support mandated SAFE participation for facultyIdeas for increasing faculty participation

Focus of questions for Faculty Interviews

Knowledge ScoresT1= 70.5% T2= 85.5%


Results of Student Participant Assessments93.6% informative 89.6% would recommend to others85% more aware81% more sensitive about the obstacles LGBTQ face65% felt more supportive or positive70% they will become more supportive of LGBTQ rights

Faculty FeedbackAwarenessProvides facts/dataProvides narrativeInsight to how inequality impacts the daily lives of LGBTQ individualsFrames the LGBTQ struggle as a civil rights issue not a religious oneTransgender Safe environment for EMU LGBTQ students & facultyResources available at EMU Points out the heterosexual privilege in this countryRethink assumptions

Brings about awareness about LGBTQ topicsFacts shown supporting the fight for LGBTQ equality defines LGBTQ issues as a legitimate political and social struggleOpportunity for students to talk about LGBTQ topics in a respectful and more informed wayProvides accurate information about state and federal laws that discriminate against LGBTQ. Provides examples of how social stigma impacts the day-to-day experiences of LGBTQ individualsEncourages participants to bracket religion when being asked to support LGBTQ civil rightsProvides needed clarity about transgenderismWorks to create and maintain a safe environment for EMU LGBTQ students faculty & staff, letting students know that some faculty members are allies and supporters of the LGBTQ equalityIt informs LGBTQ students and faculty about resources available at EMU It points out the heterosexual privilege in this countryIt provides the opportunity for students to rethink their assumptions about LGBTQ individuals and issues.


this is a matter not only of awareness but also professional competency. LGBTQ issues, since it is a national social issue now and pertains to students on our campus, need to be a part of your comfort zone as a professional.Faculty member:

The Safe Campaign is as good as it gets, but could be limited because it just does not reach enough faculty members.

What can be done to increase faculty participation?

Addressing the Major ConcernEase of access to the information Offering faculty incentives

Ease of access to informationA booklet with all resources that EMU offers.Mass email before semesters start stating what the LGBTQRC offers with a link to website.A website that allows faculty members to schedule the Safe Campaign session.Offering Faculty IncentivesWhen a professor has an LGBTQ program, in this case the Safe Campaign, into their class after so many times (pick a number) this could be acknowledged in their review and/or they could be awarded a small stipend.



Aboud, F & S. Levy. 2000. Interventions to reduce prejudice in children and adolescents. Pp. 26994 in Reducing Prejudice and Discrimination, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc., Mahwah, New Jersey

Bandura, Albert 1989 Human agency in Social Cognitive Theory American Psychologist. 44(9):1175-1184

Bigler, R. 1999. The use of multicultural curricula and materials to counter racism in children, Journal of Social Issues, 55( 4) 687705.

Campus Pride- LGBT- Friendly Campus Climate Index: National Assessment Tool. 2010. Retrieved November 2011. (http://www.campusclimateindex.org/about/default.aspx ).

Evans, Nancy J., 2002. The Impact of an LGBT Safe Zone Project on Campus Climate. The Journal of College Student Development 43(4):522-538

GLSEN. 2010. National School Climate Survey: Nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT Students Experience Harassment in School. Retrieved November 22, 2011 (http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/news/record/2624.html)

Kraiger, K., Ford, J. K. & Salas, E. 1993. Application of Cognitive, Skill-Based, and Affective Theories of Learning Outcomes to New Methods of Training Evaluation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 78 (2):311-328.

Levy, S, T. West, L. Ramirez, & J. Pachankis, 2004, Racial and Ethnic Prejudice Among Children. Pp..3760 in The Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination, Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.

Pfeifer, Brown, & Juvonen. 2007. Teaching Tolerance in Schools: Lessons Learned Since Brown V. Board of Education about the Development and Reduction of Children's Prejudice. Social Policy Report. 21(2):17789.

Wright, Lester W., Henry Adams, &am