chemeketa students

Safe Zone offers inclusive space for all students

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Holiday potlucks, a wall of encouragement, Friday movie nights— Chemeketa’s student Safe Zone might be the closest thing to a dorm commons on Salem’s campus.

The Safe Zone is a multi-purpose space for students, providing academic, social and emotional support for the college community. Perhaps most importantly, the Safe Zone provides a place of acceptance for our diverse student body—including our LGBTQ+ community and anyone facing personal hardships or struggling to find acceptance.

“One thing that we see all too often is that things that are outside of the schools control affect student success far more than anything else,” said one student visitor. “This space has really become a place students can use to escape that which might otherwise negatively affect their success.”

This includes student concerns regarding the Presidential election. “The staff remain politically neutral but supportive to what the students are saying and expressing,” the student said.

While the goals of the Safe Zone are serious, the atmosphere in the space is light-hearted and comfortable.

“A new person came in the other day. They were quiet and mostly listened, but they laughed a lot. We’re pretty funny,” said Riss, a second year student pursuing a transfer degree.

Another student agreed, saying the Safe Zone is a good place to relax and get to know people. “A friend dragged me in here and I never left,” he said.

If you or anyone you know feels isolated or fearful of judgement, please consider visiting the Safe Zone.


The Safe Zone & Student Resource Center

Resources available to all students—

  • Support from student leaders, including connections to college resources
  • Computer and no-cost printing for college assignments
  • Microwave and fridge

Bldg. 2, Rm. 229 (Salem campus)
Monday, 8 am-5 pm
Tuesday-Friday 8 am-7 pm

* Some names redacted to protect the anonymity of students.

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