The Open Door Network (ODN) is a college-wide effort to inform and sensitize faculty, staff and students about sexual orientation and gender identity. It is similar to Safe Space or Positive Space efforts in other Canadian colleges and universities. The goals are to break down the invisibility, silence and prejudice surrounding LGBTTTIQ* members of our community and to make Vanier College a welcoming and respectful place for LGBTTTIQ students and employees.
The Open Door Network puts a number of Vanier College’s policies into action. The ODN’s mandate corresponds to our college’s mission statement, which states that we are to provide our students with a welcoming and caring learning environment. It also helps to fulfill our Discrimination and Harassment Policy, which seeks to develop a respectful environment for all members of the Vanier College community.
One distinctive result of marginalization based on sexual orientation and gender identity is that many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered, and intersex people remain closeted. LGBTTTIQ youth grow up in a hostile environment and learn to expect negative views unless given a strong indication to the contrary. The ways that sexual minorities are marginalized makes this kind of campaign – which focuses on visibility – an appropriate response.
When you see an Open Door Network sticker on doors or on desks in offices around the college, it means that that employee has participated in an ODN workshop. The sticker signals that they are familiar with issues around sexual diversity and with local resources for LGBTTTIQ students.
* LGBTTIQ Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Two-Spirited, Intersex, Queer