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Safe Zone Group

The purpose of Safe Zone is to reduce homophobia and heterosexism on the UAS campus, making our campus a safer and freer environment for all members of our community regardless of sexual orientation. Safe Zone prepares primarily staff and faculty members to serve as a resource for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and questioning issues, and also strives to educate the campus community about the Safe Zone program.

Although transgender refers to gender identity and not necessarily sexual orientation, this is also a sexual minority group that is unfairly discriminated against, and therefore is included in the Safe Zone program.

Margie Thomson

Coordinator for Disability and Counseling Services; Safe Zone Coordinator

Phone: 796-6465 Fax: 796-6005


SRC: Counseling, SRC: Disability Services,

Mourant Bldg, 1st Floor

Juneau Campus

Marsha Squires

Coordinator, Academic Exchange and Study Abroad

Phone: 796-6455


SRC: Academic Exchanges and Study Abroad

Mourant Bldg, 1st Floor

Juneau Campus


Advising contact for all international students, exchange students, and back-up advisor for general advising through the Student Resource Center (SRC).

Beatrice Franklin

Library Assistant (Interlibrary Loan & Public Services)

Phone: 796-6470


Egan Library

Egan Library, Room 202

Juneau Campus


B.A., University of Pennsylvania, (International Relations); M.Ed., American University


Beatrice is a 30+ year Juneau resident who has been on the Egan Library staff since 1996.  She is fluent in French and travels to exotic places.  Her favorite pastimes are playing tennis, drawing and painting, and reading.  She also loves cats (and dogs).



Gloria Merry

Media Supervisor

Phone: 796-6374


I.T. Services

Egan Library, Library 103

Juneau Campus

Kolene E. James

Coordinator, Native and Rural Student Center (NRSC)

Phone: 796-6454 Fax: 796-6005


SRC: Native and Rural Student Center

Mourant Bldg, Rm 110

Juneau Campus


B.L.A., University Alaska Southeast.


Allow me to introduce myself: my Tlingit name is DaxKilatch. My name comes from the Head of the Nass River. My parents are Francis and Norma Jean Dunne. I am the child of the Tsimshian through my father's tribe. I am Tlingit Gaanax.adi from the Taantakwaan, people of Tongass. I am also Tsimshian Ggan haa da of Metlakatla on my mother's side (Metlakatla is the only reservation here in Alaska). I was raised in the village of Saxman (outside of Ketchikan city limits) for the better half of my childhood and spent most of my summers in Metlakatla with my beloved grandmother, Jessie Ridley. I am also the grandchild of the Teikweidi, Tsimshian, Irish, and I have Haida in my bloodline as well. I am very proud of my Native and non-Native heritage! I am also a proud parent of my three children Devon, Kordell, and Corinne, and a proud wife to Lyle James, Kaagwaantaan of Hoonah.

I recently graduated with my B.L.A. from UAS, and I am currently looking into a master's degree program. I am the coordinator for the Native & Rural Student Center, an academic advisor, and advisor for the student club Wooch.Een.

As coordinator for the Native and Rural Student Center, I provide services to assist Native and Rural students adjust to college life here at UAS. We offer staff and support services to help improve Native student success and retention rates in higher learning. This is done through academic advising and support, assistance with registration, course selection and scheduling, as well as peer advising, mentoring, and special orientations.

The Center offers opportunities and special events on and off campus to help develop leadership skills in its student members. It is a place for students to meet, form friendships, receive support and peer mentoring.

The Center sponsors leadership activities, scholarship fairs and other gatherings where student participation is highly encouraged. For example, we host the UA Native Oratory Society contest at UAS, where students compete in a professional forum while speaking on topics of importance to the Native community.

Wooch.een, the Alaska Native students' club (which means, "working together" in the Tlingit language) has played an important role in planning and hosting student events at UAS and in the Juneau Community at large.

Wooch.een hosts several major events each year, including lectures by distinguished Native authors and scholars during Native American Heritage month in November. These and other social events help integrate the community and foster a better understanding of Native history, cultural and social issues. The organization has done a great deal to promote academics, student retention and leadership on campus.

In addition to the coordinating and advising portion of my position, I also support and work with the TRIO Student Support Services program, the UAS PITAS (Preparing Indigenous Teachers for Alaskan Schools) scholars, Early Scholars at Juneau Douglas High school, Juneau Youth Correctional students, and the All Nations Children dance group.


Club Advisor to GSA, Wooch.een, and PITAAS Support

Richard Hitchcock

Procurement Services Manager

Phone: 796-6493 Fax: 796-6469


Becky Iverson

Counseling Services, Clinician

Phone: 796-6514 Fax: 796-6005


Jennifer A. Malecha

Disability Services Specialist

Phone: 796-6000 Fax: 796-6005


SRC: Disability Services

Mourant Bldg, 1st Floor

Juneau Campus

Lori A. Klein

Title IX Coordinator/HR Training Coordinator

Phone: 796-6036


Eric Lingle

Associate Director of Admissions

Phone: 796-6069 Fax: 796-6365



Novatney Bldg, Admissions

Juneau Campus


Eric grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska. He attended the University of California Santa Cruz where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in History.  Between 2007 and 2009, Eric served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in eastern Uganda.  After returning to the United States, he undertook several projects with the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the Bureau of Land Management before joining the University of Alaska Southeast.
Eric greatly enjoys skiing, boating, diving, and coffee.

Elizabeth Spence

Program Coordinator, Career Education

Phone: 796-6128 Fax: 796-6577


Career Education

Hendrickson Bldg, 205

Juneau Campus


Contact for Health Science and preprofessional health degrees including: Certificate in Pre-Nursing Qualifications, Certificate in Pre-Radiologic Technology, Associate of Applied Science in Health Sciences, Nursing through UAA and Certified Nurse Aide (CNA).


To be a Safe Zone participant, one must be open to questions from and about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and questioning (LGBTIQ) people and their issues. Questions may come from students who identify as LGBTIQ or are questioning their sexual orientation.  Additionally, questions may come from students who are heterosexual and who are disturbed by the presence of LGBTIQ persons in their classes, residence hall, or family. Colleagues may also come to Safe Zone participants with questions.

Generally, participants support policies that bring equity to otherwise inequitable situations and give open support for LGBTIQ issues. Members will also encourage others to be part of the Safe Zone. The more willing people are to talk about these issues with facts and openness, the safer and more welcoming our campus will become for LGBTIQ individuals. 

How to Participate

Participation in the Safe Zone program involves attending a Creating a Safe Zone Workshop, which examines attitudes and beliefs, raises awareness, builds, skills, and offers resources. Workshops are held on the Juneau campus once a semester or by request.

After attending the workshop and signing the UAS Safe Zone Contract & Confidentiality Statement, display the Safe Zone sticker in your workspace. Additionally, Safe Zone members participate in periodic campus Safe Zone network meetings held approximately once per semester. Check the Campus Calendar for both training and network meetings.

The Safe Zone StickerSafe Zone logo

The purpose of the Safe Zone sticker helps convey a message that you are supportive, trustworthy and sensitive to the needs and concerns of LGBTIQ people. Displaying the sticker indicates that within your office or room, homophobic and heterosexist comments and actions will not be tolerated silently. Instead, such comments and actions will be addressed in an educational, informative and non-threatening manner.

The Safe Zone sticker does not indicate whether you yourself are LGBTIQ; it merely states that you are a support and resource person or ally.


The length of your commitment to Safe Zone is up to you. As long as you participate, display your sticker on your door or within your office. If you decide to discontinue your participation, simply remove the sticker. If you wish to have your name or office removed from the UAS Safe Zone registry, contact the Safe Zone Coordinator. There will be no questions asked. You may re affiliate anytime.

Being an ally can be tough at times. Your genuine dedication to this program, no matter what its length, will create a positive space within your community.  

Designating a Safe ZoneWorkshop

There are many things that you can do to make you and your workspace feel like a Safe Zone for LGBTIQ students and colleagues. These are a few suggestions:

  • Believe that our campus is enriched and enlivened by the diversity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and questioning (LGBTIQ) people.
  • Be aware of the presence of LGBTIQ students, faculty, and staff and be willing to engage in genuine dialogue and interaction.
  • Be willing to discuss issues impacting LGBTIQ people's lives in a non-judgmental manner.
  • Know your LGBTIQ resources on campus and in the community.
  • Comfortably and regularly use inclusive language, avoid stereotyping, and do not assume everyone is heterosexual.
  • Maintain confidentiality.

What to Expect

As a result of posting a Safe Zone sticker in your workspace you may find that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning students, faculty, and staff censor their speech less, providing for a more genuine exchange with you. Similarly, students, faculty, and staff may be more at ease around you, anticipating a non-judgmental atmosphere in your workplace.

You may never notice a difference in the interactions you have with students, faculty, and staff but you will make a difference in improving the campus climate at UAS and the lives of our community members.

What Else Can I Do?

  • Acquaint yourself with lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgendered individuals, and intersexuals. Learn more about LGBTI culture by reading books, making friends, attending functions, and celebrating.
  • Challenge homophobia and heterosexism (jokes, remarks, cartoons, behaviors, language, ect.)
  • Continue to educate yourself about the coming out process and sexual identity development.

Useful Articles

Gender & Sexuality Information

LGBTIQ Support Information

Improving the Campus Climate

Local Resources
SEAGLASoutheast Alaska LGBTQ+ Alliance
UAS CIACampus Inclusivity Alliance (formerly GSA) strives to enhance social acceptance and awareness of non-heteronormative issues on campus, and act as a point of reference for resources.
Sites on Coming Out
Coast to Coast PrideA gay and lesbian Community Center's Youth Resources for Coming Out of the Closet. Includes: education, the process, self-acceptance, coming out to gay and non-gay people, and the politics of coming out.
Human Rights CampaignWorking for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Equal Rights
Resource on coming out in the work place.
Human Right Campaign Working for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equal Rights
General Sites on Support, Organizations, Information
PFLAGSupport, education, and advocacy; working for/with LGB individuals and their families.
Glad.orgNational Gay and Lesbian Task Force- dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status, and gender identity and expression.
Queer AmericaLargest database of queer resources: information on community centers, support orgs., PFLAG chapters, ect.
Accredited Schools OnlineLGBTQ Student Resources & Support:
Sites on creating safe schools for LGBT people
www.glsen.orgThe Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network strives to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
College Mapper College search site that includes addition of LGBTQ under Diversity Support Programs as part of their college search.
Transgender-Specific Resources
Youth GuardInternet support services for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, questioning, and straight supportive youth.
Gendger.orgGender Education and Advocacy website: Focusing on the needs, issues, and concerns of gender variant people.
Search Engines
GayzooSearch Engine dedicated to making G/L/B/T related internet content much easier to find.

Content maintained by Safe Zone.