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Pride at SAIT

Experience an inclusive community 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.

Connect with the SAIT Pride community!🌈

  • Sign up for the Pride at SAIT mailing list so you don't miss out on news about events and supports for SAIT's 2SLGBTQ+ community!
  • Need a lunch buddy? SAIT and Saitsa have partnered for virtual Pride at Lunch, where 2SLGBTQ+ students and allies can meet up for some fun every Thursday at noon. Register to join!

Pride Week at SAIT is back! Oct. 12 to 15

Pride at SAIT has a great lineup of virtual events for students and employees following National Coming Out Day on Monday, Oct. 11. Get set for Pride Week with rainbow virtual backgrounds for Teams/Zoom and be sure to tune in for the festivities!

Pride Flag Raising and Rainbow Reveal on Instagram Live — Tuesday, Oct. 12, 9 am

Kick off Pride Week at SAIT by following @saitsalife so you can watch the raising of the Pride flag on campus — along with a special rainbow reveal — via Instagram Live.

Pride at Lunch: 2SLGBTQ+ in the Workplace — Tuesday, Oct. 12, noon

Wondering how to bring your authentic self to work in a way that works for you? Meet with Career Advisor and Pride at SAIT member An Tran at this special Pride Week edition of Pride at Lunch to discuss strategies for setting yourself up for success in the workplace. Register to attend.

DIY Buttons and Rainbow Hot Chocolate — Wednesday, Oct. 13, 10 am

Stop by the Saitsa Resource Centre in MC107 to make your own Pride-themed buttons. You can also grab a cup of rainbow hot chocolate while you’re there!

Virtual Pride Bingo — Wednesday, Oct. 13, noon

Join Pride at SAIT for a fun P-R-I-D-E edition of Bingo! Learn interesting 2SLGBTQ+ facts while you make new friends and win prizes. Visit the registration page for more info.

Pride at Lunch: Gotta Have Faith — Thursday, Oct. 14, noon

Join us for a special Pride Week edition of Pride at Lunch where we'll chat about the intersection of 2SLGBTQ+ identities and faith. Hosted in partnership by Pride at SAIT and the Interfaith Centre, this is an opportunity to hear from and share experiences as 2SLGBTQ+ people of faith. Register to attend.

Virtual Pride Movie Night — Friday, Oct. 15, 6 pm

Watch the critically acclaimed movie Rocketman with your friends from Pride at SAIT on Teleparty. All you’ll need is your own Netflix account because the popcorn’s on us! Register to attend and be sure to include your mailing address so we know where to send your bag of popcorn.

Free gender markers initiative

Gowling WLG has partnered with the  Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity (CCGSD) to undertake a pro bono legal initiative in support of trans and non-binary individuals seeking to change the gender markers on their official identification documents. As one of Canada’s largest law firms, they’re well-equipped to help individuals update their birth certificates, passports, driver’s licenses and other identification documents to reflect their gender markers.

Anyone interested in taking advantage of Gowling WLG’s free notary and commissioning services can contact their gender marker group directly at  gender.id@gowlingwlg.com to set up a virtual appointment. For more information on making changes to gender markers on official documentation, please refer to the  CCGSD’s resource guide, which includes province-specific forms and information on how to proceed with the gender marker and name change processes.

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!

Support during COVID-19

We understand this is a unique and challenging time. There are a number of supports and resources available to the 2SLGBTQ+ community:

  • Access student supports. Even if you’re not physically on campus, you’re still part of the SAIT community and support is available.
  • Connect with the 2SLGBTQ+ community virtually. Calgary Outlink and the Centre for Sexuality are hosting online hangouts, training and support while their offices are closed — find events listed on their Facebook pages.
  • Take free online training. Learn about the history, terms and phrases of the 2SLGBTQ+ community by completing Pride at Work Canada’s course, LGBT 101. Contact pride@sait.ca if you’re interested.
Questions? Connect with us — email pride@sait.ca.

Current information on SAIT’s response to COVID-19 and a set of evolving frequently asked questions for students are available at sait.ca/covid19.

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.

What does 2SLGBTQ+ mean?

2SLGBTQ+ is an acronym used to identify two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning identities, while the plus sign (+) expands the acronym to include other identities. You may have noticed SAIT has shifted from using the LGBTQ2+ acronym to 2SLGBTQ+. Two-spirit is now recognized first in acknowledgement of Indigenous people being first on these lands.

Campus initiatives

Preferred names

We encourage gender-diverse students who would like to discuss preferred name changes in confidence to contact  pride@sait.ca. 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.

Universal washrooms

Binary (M/F) washrooms and change rooms can present barriers to students and staff with varying needs. The committee and larger SAIT campus have been working on various initiatives to reduce these barriers. Recent changes include:

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. 

Saitsa Pride Club and Pride at SAIT Committee

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 students get the most out of campus life. Visit Saitsa Clubs to sign up and start checking out the student clubs on campus.

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 pride@sait.ca.

Committee members
Chair / Student Leadership Coordinator Sarah Ward (she/her) Sarah Ward Sarah has worked at SAIT for 11 years and is currently the Student Engagement Facilitator in Learner Services, where she coordinates opportunities for students to lead, have fun, and build a community outside the classroom. After work you’ll find her playing UNO with her five-year-old, hiking, redecorating something in her home, or bingeing the latest murder podcast while doing a ridiculously difficult puzzle. She considers it an honour and privilege to work so closely with SAIT’s 2SLGBTQ+ community towards a culture of inclusion for all.
Administration Coordinator Madison Kelsey (she/her) Madison Kelsey Madison works in Learner and Academic Services as the Assistant to the Associate Dean and Associate Vice President. She enjoys making people laugh, feel welcome, safe, comfortable, and overall loved. She takes great pride in being a part of the Pride at SAIT Committee and being an ally to an amazing community.
Assessment Coordinator Nicole Gerlitz (she/her) Nicole Gerlitz Nicole has worked in the Business Intelligence and Analytics group at SAIT for almost a decade. Her work is dedicated to listening to students and apprentices to better understand how SAIT can improve all aspects of the student journey, from the moment they learn about SAIT to after graduation. Nicole has been honoured to be a part of the Pride at SAIT committee for the past four years.
Communications Coordinator An Tran (she/her) An Tran An is a dedicated ally of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, and leverages her background in marketing communications in her role as Pride at SAIT’s Communications Coordinator. It has also helped with her work as a Career Advisor with SAIT’s Career Advancement Services, where she helps students and alumni market their strengths to employers. An is a proud cinephile (read: movie buff/snob), and enjoys combining her passion for movies with her love of writing through screenwriting.
Education and Training Coordinator Terri Eklund (she/her) Terri Eklund Terri was a founding member of the Pride at SAIT Committee, and continues to serve as the Education and Training Coordinator. As an educational developer, she brings her 10 years of teaching experience to support teaching and learning at SAIT. Terri believes that education and conversation are critical components for equity work and seeks out ways to grow in this space. Outside of SAIT, Terri serves on the Board of Directors for Pride at Work Canada. She's also a proud SAIT graduate, a serious NFL fan, and a skilled movie-quoter.
Member at Large John Partington (he/him) John Partington John is the Associate Director, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at SAIT. He brings nine 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.
Programming and Activities Coordinator Lukas Valentine (he/him) Lukas Valentine Lukas is an elder millennial who represents the ‘G’ in 2SLGBTQ+. When he’s not programming kick-ass events at SAIT, 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!
Research Coordinator Hayley Puppato (she/her) Hayley Puppato Hayley is a Junior Researcher with the Green Building Technologies research department in SAIT. Her background is in environmental science, and she graduated from SAIT’s Environmental Technologies program. She’s excited to participate in the Pride at SAIT Committee and provide support to enhance SAIT’s services and supports to the 2SLGBTQ+ community.
Saitsa Representative Colleen Burnett (she/her) Colleen Burnett Colleen is the Assistant Manager, Student Experience with the SAIT Students’ Association (Saitsa). She graduated from SAIT’s Administrative Information Management program in 2017 and after falling in love with SAIT campus as a student, she’s thrilled to be back as an employee! Colleen’s been with Saitsa since 2017 and has been involved with the Pride at SAIT Committee since the start of 2018. Being a member of the 2SLGBTQ+ community herself, finding ways to support students has always been a priority for her. When she’s not at work, she spends her time hanging out with her dog and fiancée.
Saitsa Representative Dawson Thomas (he/him) Dawson Thomas Dawson is currently studying Hospitality Management, which has him leaning towards event management as a career. He’s the Vice Chair for Saitsa’s Board of Directors and the President of the LGBTQ+ Club, which has been both rewarding and a great learning experience. Dawson is humbled and honoured to be a representative for the students at SAIT, and hopes to connect with more people as he continues to be involved through his various roles.
Student Leadership Representative Colin Suggett (he/him) Colin Suggett Colin joined SAIT in January of 2020 to pursue a Bachelor of Applied Technology Geographic Information Systems degree. His role as a Pride Student Leader has allowed him the opportunity to learn more about SAIT’s 2SLGBTQ+ community as well as himself while fostering a sense of community. He started accepting himself and who he was while attending UVic, and shortly after graduating in 2015 began “coming out” to his friends and family at the age of 22. He enjoyed helping the Pride at SAIT Committee put on some exciting virtual events during the 2020/2021 academic year – and in doing so, has helped make it another great year at SAIT!

Resources

Individuals with questions, concerns or complaints about accommodation, discrimination and harassment can find confidential support and advocacy both on and off-campus.

SAIT Resources
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

Contact

To learn more about the Pride at SAIT Committee, SAIT-wide initiatives or to get involved with upcoming events, contact us:

pride@sait.ca

Stories

Make this season bright with a little mindfulness

3 seasonal steps to supporting inclusion

Associate Director, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at SAIT John Partington shares the impact of donor support for fostering inclusivity at SAIT.

Employees, alumni and students rally in support of the SAIT Pride Award

Students share what Pride means to them

The faces of SAIT Pride

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