Positive Space

Currently, Okanagan College has a committee, the Diversity Working Group, which works towards ensuring that learning and working environments are welcoming to all students, employees, and alumni no matter what their background or circumstance. Change can come from policy, but also from people acting together to ensure that all are welcomed and respected. We are currently working towards spreading awareness and growing the size of the Positive Space campaign.

Through the provision of leadership, resources and services that support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, intersexed, queer, questioning and Two-Spirited (LGBTTIQQ2S) students, employees, and alumni our campus communities are actively working towards equitable and inclusive spaces.

The Positive Space Campaign

The Okanagan College Positive Space Campaign is a program that identifies safer and more inclusive spaces for LGBTTIQQ2S students, employees, and alumni at Okanagan College. It is a campaign that is meant to foster a welcoming atmosphere and inclusive, respectful dialogue on campus for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities by identifying spaces where sexual and gender diversity is supported and valued.

Positive Space is meant to provide a safe environment away from the behaviours that marginalize LGBTTIQQ2S students, employees, and alumni - even in environments with policies that normally govern such behaviours on campus. The most visible symbol of this campaign is the inverted rainbow triangle posters and/or stickers that many post-secondary institutions have adopted as safe space indicators.


How It Works - Identifying Safe Spaces and Allies

LGBTTIQQ2S Allies display their Positive Space posters at their place of work or study to let others know that these are places where anyone can turn to for support. Before receiving the poster, every Ally is encouraged to participate in a webinar information session to strengthen their understanding of issues related to homophobia, heterosexism, transphobia, queer culture and local resources. It is hoped that Allies will have the opportunity to participate in further specialized training, should they so desire.

If you notice a rainbow triangle poster or sticker on a door or an office, it is a sign that people in that space are supportive of LGBTTIQQ2S students, employees, and alumni and would welcome your questions and requests for assistance. They may not have all the answers, but they help as much as they can, and can refer you to appropriate services on- or off-campus.

Getting Involved - Becoming an Ally

Anyone at Okanagan College can choose to become a Positive Space Ally. To get involved in the Positive Space Campaign and to become an Ally, we normally ask that you start by signing up for a webinar information session. However, new sessions have yet to be scheduled for the 2013/14 academic year. Please check back regularly to see if new sessions have been added. New Allies are always welcome. 

The Positive Space Campaign is coordinated by the Okanagan College Diversity Working Group. If you have any questions about the Campaign or want further information please contact us or check out our FAQ page.

Please see our list of current Allies:

Beryl Amaron, Professor, KLO Campus
Jeanne Boekelheide, Educational Advisor, Vernon Campus
Angela Checkley, Learning Centre Coordinator, KLO Campus
Nancy Darling, Administrator, KLO Campus
Ellen Faulkner, Professor, Penticton and KLO Campuses
Tina Fenwick, Student, KLO Campus
Levi Gahman, Professor, KLO Campus
Kathryn Hall, Women in Trades Liaison, KLO Campus
Tom Hettrich, Student
Howard Hisdal, Professor, Vernon and KLO Campuses
Margaret Hodgins, Librarian, Vernon Campus
Sasha Johnston, Professor, KLO Campus
Laurie Minuk, Counsellor, Penticton Campus
Melissa Munn, Professor, Vernon Campus
Jill Mitchell Nielsen, Learning Centre Coordinator, KLO Campus
Mark Nishihara, Instructor, KLO Campus
Crystal Nykilichuk, Learning Centre Coordinator/ESL Instructor, KLO Campus
Joanne Poole, Instructor, KLO Campus
Andrew Pulvermacher, Instructor, Penticton Campus
Paul Stephenson, Learning Centre Coordinator/ILT Program Administrator, KLO Campus
Dianne Tanner, International Education, KLO Campus
Carolyn Theiss, Women in Trades, KLO Campus
Karin Wilson, Marketing and Communications Specialist, KLO Campus