Pride at SAIT
SAIT is a diverse campus and we are committed to providing an inclusive place to work and study. We will continue to enhance resources for our 2SLGBTQ+ community and effect positive change.
In partnership with the 2SLGBTQ+ community, allies and the Pride at SAIT Committee — a volunteer advisory committee from SAIT and Saitsa — we're working to provide a community at SAIT that is inclusive of and accessible to all individuals regardless of gender expression, gender identity or sexual orientation.
Definitions and understanding
Often we hear that people are not sure what the appropriate nomenclature is for the 2SLGBTQ+ community. There is a rainbow of definitions used in today's culture and we recommend reviewing the definitions provided by the Centre for Sexuality and exploring some of the external link resources listed below.
We encourage gender-diverse students who would like to discuss preferred name changes in confidence to contact email@example.com. We can help you meet with a representative who can outline currently available options, provide support with informing instructors and also offer 2SLGBTQ+ resources at SAIT.
🌈 How to be an ally
It's important to show support for your 2SLGBTQ+ friends by being a good ally. Not sure how? Start with these easy steps!
Connect with Pride at SAIT!
- Sign up for the Pride at SAIT mailing list so you don't miss out on news about events and support for SAIT's 2SLGBTQ+ community!
When someone comes out as part of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, it is essential to provide them with support, understanding, and acceptance. By fostering an inclusive environment, we can create a workplace or educational institution where everyone feels valued and respected.
- Respect confidentiality: Unless given explicit permission to share the information, respect their privacy and maintain confidentiality. Coming out is a personal journey, and it's important to honor their trust.
- Listen and be empathetic: Create space for them to share their experiences, feelings, and concerns. Be a good listener and show empathy. Avoid making assumptions or judgments.
- Educate yourself: Take the time to educate yourself about different sexual orientations, gender identities, and the experiences of 2SLGBTQ+ individuals. This will help you better understand their needs and challenges. A great place to start is with PERS 143: Queer Inclusion and Belonging at SAIT, available to staff and students.
- Use inclusive language: Be mindful of the language you use and make an effort to use inclusive terms. Respect their preferred pronouns and gender identity. If you're unsure, politely ask them what pronouns they prefer.
- Create a safe and welcoming environment: Foster an inclusive atmosphere by promoting respect and acceptance. Encourage open dialogue, celebrate diversity, and address any discriminatory behavior or comments promptly.
- Be a trusted ally: Stand up against discrimination and actively challenge stereotypes or prejudiced attitudes. Show your coworker or student that you are committed to being a supportive ally in both private and public settings.
Here are five things you can say to show your support:
- "Thank you for trusting me with this. I appreciate your courage in sharing your truth."
- "I'm here for you. If you ever want to talk or need support, know that I'm here to listen."
- "Your identity doesn't change how I see you. You are still the same person I've always known and respected."
- "I want you to know that I fully support you and your journey. You deserve to be happy and authentic."
- "If there's anything I can do to help you feel more comfortable or included, please let me know."
On the other hand, there are certain things you should avoid saying when someone comes out to you. These things can be hurtful or dismissive. Avoid saying these three things:
- "Are you sure?" or "It's just a phase." Avoid questioning or invalidating their identity. Accept their truth without skepticism or doubt.
- "I understand how you feel because I know someone who went through the same thing." Avoid making their experience about someone else or assuming that all experiences are the same.
- "Don't worry, your secret is safe with me." While it's important to respect their privacy, this statement might suggest their identity is something to be kept hidden. Instead, focus on creating an environment of openness and acceptance.
Remember, active listening, empathy, and affirming their feelings and experiences are key when someone comes out to you. Ultimately, your goal should be to provide support, validation, and understanding during this significant moment in their life.
Tips for attending your first Pride events
Saitsa Pride+ Club
Whether you're looking to network, make new friends or give back to the community, being part of a student club is one of the most fulfilling ways to get the most out of campus life. Visit the Saitsa Clubs website to sign up and explore any of the other student clubs on campus.
Binary (M/F) washrooms and change rooms can present barriers to students and staff with varying needs. The committee and the larger SAIT campus have been working on various initiatives to reduce these barriers. Recent changes include:
- Universal washrooms - Accessible and gender-inclusive washrooms
- Heritage Hall (AA126)
- Senator Burns building (NJ102B)
- Thomas Riley building (TT113)
- John Ware building (E13 - closed during the renovation)
- E.H. Crandell building (G102D)
- Green Building Technologies (Lab and Demonstration Centre)
These changes help reduce barriers for people with varying needs, which may include:
- limited accessibility
- lack of private space
- restrictive cultural norms in terms of gender identity and expression
We recognize the limitations with facilities in certain buildings and are committed to reviewing these initiatives on a regular basis.
Click the image of the map to download.
Individuals with questions, concerns or complaints about accommodation, discrimination and harassment can find confidential support and advocacy both on and off-campus.
- Positive spaces provide SAIT students with a place where they can experience diversity, inclusion and feel empowered. Visit or contact Accessibility Services or Academic Coaching and Tutoring for additional support to help you feel more at home at SAIT.
- Gender and sexuality support through Student Development and Counselling Services
- Harassment and discrimination hotline: 403.210.4406
Pride at SAIT committee
As a volunteer advisory committee, Pride at SAIT continues to work to ensure that the SAIT community is inclusive of and accessible to all individuals. The committee strives to meet its mission through:
- working toward the elimination of heterosexism, transphobia, homophobia and gender identity oppression within the SAIT community
- outreach to the SAIT community
To learn more about the committee and how to get involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jenna Nakamura (she/her)
Jenna is one of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Officers at SAIT.
She is a dedicated ally of the 2SLGBTQ+ community and has over 6 years of facilitation experience working with youth and young adults teaching them sexual health, consent, healthy relationships, diversity and inclusion.
When she isn’t working, you can find her playing at the park with her kids or eating sweet treats.
Ashley Vu (she/her)
Ashley is a Chinese Canadian settler who enjoys combining her love for education and the arts to build stronger, healthier and more vivid communities.
Ashley currently works as a Strategic Youth Initiatives Coordinator with Learner Services and looks forward to doing more great work with Pride at SAIT. Ashley is an ally of the 2SLGBTQ+ communities and has spent years working with youth to co-create safe and empowered spaces to be their own unique and authentic selves.
She is a huge cat lady and a passionate house plant collector. She often thinks of herself as a house plan whisperer! Feel free to say hi if you see her around!
Education and Training Coordinator
Sidsel Pedersen (she/her)
Sidsel has been an instructor in the Medical Radiologic Technology Program at SAIT since 2012. She has been involved with creating a Diversity and Inclusion micro-credential for MRTs across Canada and continues to advocate for the awareness of marginalized communities in healthcare settings.
Her current research focuses on the implementation of transgender and gender-diverse curricula in medical imaging programs.
She hopes to bring her teaching experience as well as research and course development experience to the role of Education and Training Coordinator with the Pride at SAIT Committee.
Programming and Activities Coordinator
Kate Laverdure (She/her)
Kate is part of the communications team #HereAtSAIT.
She’s passionate about building community and telling stories that bring people together. As an ally of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, Kate joined the Pride at SAIT committee to support initiatives aimed at making campus a safe and inclusive space for students and staff.
Outside of work, she enjoys going on leisurely strolls with her bulldog and fostering pups in need of a temporary home.
Member at Large
John Partington (he/him)
John is the Director, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at SAIT. He brings ten years of progressive experience in higher education administration and is a founding member of the Pride at SAIT Committee.
Originally from Ottawa, ON, he holds a Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion, a Master of Arts from McMaster University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Bishop’s University.
Member at Large
Lukas Valentine (he/him)
Lukas is an elder millennial who represents the ‘G’ in 2SLGBTQ+. You’ll find him in the kitchen baking up delicious treats or in the digital world of video games.
He’s passionate about connection and collaboration and believes we’ve come a long way as a community but there’s still work to be done.
He believes that bringing people together is the first step in creating a better world for everyone and through collaboration, we can make that happen. If you see him around, say hi or reach out if you want to connect!
Programming and Activities Coordinator
Amanda Wilkesheski (she/her)
After 7+ years of experience working in disability services around Calgary, Amanda has taken her passion for accessibility for people from all kinds of backgrounds and extended it to Accessibility Services here at SAIT. There she does her best to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable.
Often found sitting in contorted positions in her office chair, this bisexual gal is excited to be welcomed into the Pride Committee where she looks forward to helping out with many events around campus.
Outside of work, Amanda can be found playing D&D or boardgames, getting into adventures with her dog Beans, or honing her skills at one of her many hobbies.