What is the Positive Space Network (PSN)?
The Positive Space Network is a visible network of students, faculty, staff and alumni who are working to make the University of Victoria a safer and more inclusive space for people of all genders and sexualities. We are proud to be helping UVic meet the first objective of its strategic plan: to be a diverse, welcoming learning community, with a strong commitment to equity.
Can anyone be a member or is it just for LGBTTIAQQ-identified people?
Membership is based on shared values of equality, not on personal identity. Everyone is welcome.
How do I become a PSN Resource Person?
Anyone interested in becoming a resource person can register for an upcoming free workshop. Upon completion of a workshop, participants receive a PSN Resource Person card (or a button) to display in their work or study area. Displaying the card makes them a visible resource for those seeking information about gender identity and sexual orientation issues.
Does this network suggest that UVic is homophobic?
Not at all. UVic has put into practice a number of policies, procedures, and services to ensure equitable access to education, employee benefits, and an atmosphere free of discrimination and harassment. However, it is not reasonable to assume that a university as large and diverse as UVic is free of the prejudice and stereotypes prevalent in wider societies or that all community members are aware of the resources that exist.
Do Positive Space cards suggest that other spaces or people are negative?
No, this is a new campaign and many people may not have heard of us yet. Those who have may be supportive but unable to control what is posted in their space, and others may be supportive but do not yet feel prepared enough to speak on LGBTTIAQQ issues.
Is UVic the only university with a Positive Space Network?
No, most major universities in Canada and North America have Positive Space Networks. Some are called Allies, Safe Spaces, and Positive Space Campaigns.
How can I be sure that a PSN Resource Person will be friendly and welcoming?
Everyone who displays the PSN Resource Person card will have attended a workshop on issues of sexual and gender diversity. The PSN Executive always reserve the right to remove the title of Resource Person from someone who has been found to be misusing their position in any ways. If you have a concern, email the PSN Executive at email@example.com
How does the PSN relate to the rest of the campus?
PSN has received support from and seeks to work in partnership with academic and administrative units along with employee and student groups.
The mandate of the PSN includes the promotion and support of all like-mandated organizations on campus. The PSN encourages members to engage in activities, events and academic research that promote diversity and inclusion.
How is the PSN connected to UVic’s Equity and Human Rights office?
A dedicated position on the PSN executive is held by a member of the EQHR team. PSN funds are administered by EQHR, and EQHR allows the PSN to use SharePoint, and host a website and two discussion lists.
How did the PSN get started?
In January 2009, after attending a presentation about similar initiatives at universities across Canada, about 40 students, faculty and staff voted unanimously to create a network at UVic. At the launch in February 2010, UVic proudly joined other Canadian universities, like UBC, University of Toronto and Queens, with similar initiatives.
How is the PSN governed?
The PSN has an elected executive and working groups that handle specific projects like workshop facilitation, communications, fundraising and event planning. There is a general meeting each year in. All campus community members are welcome at general meetings.
A comprehensive terms of reference was developed in the spring of 2009 and was adopted at the first general meeting. This document serves as a guide for all PSN activities. The Terms of Reference is available for download as a pdf — it is a living document so please check back periodically for the most recent version.
How can I help?
Your financial support is also greatly appreciated. The only source of funding for the PSN is through donations. UVic campus departments can donate directly to the PSN account by contacting the EQHR office. The PSN treasurer presents a budget at the monthly executive working group meeting.
What does the PSN logo symbolize?
Designed by Karen Yen, the logo represents the light of beginnings and the full spectrum of belonging.
How can I contact the PSN?
You can reach our executive at firstname.lastname@example.org.