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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 LGBTQ2+ community and effect positive change. 

In partnership with the LGBTQ2+ 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 LGBTQ2+ community!
  • Saitsa hosts a weekly Pride Zoom Room every Thursday from noon – 1 pm, where SAIT students can connect and discuss LGBTQ2+ related topics. Check the schedule to join.

Celebrate Pride Month 2021

Pride Month Industry Mentorship Circle: Ask RBC Anything — June 29 at noon
SAIT students and alumni are invited to attend a special industry mentorship circle hosted by Career Advancement Services and RBC Alberta Region PRIDE on Tuesday, June 29 at noon. This is your chance to ask RBC anything related to careers with RBC and job searching, such as “Is it a good idea to have a ‘rainbow resumé’?”, “What questions should I expect during an RBC job interview?”, and “How can I grow my professional network as a student/new grad?” Register on My Career Hub.
Virtual Reading with Royalty
Join Calgary Pride and the Calgary Public Library for  Virtual Reading with Royalty, a family-friendly storytime program led by local drag queen, king, and monarch performers. Dressing up is highly encouraged!
Pride Toronto Events
Pride Toronto has an amazing lineup of virtual events featuring diverse voices within the LGBTQ2+ community. Events include a BIPOC Healing Circle, anti-oppression and anti-racism workshops, a trans and non-binary cabaret, queer career workshops, and the Indigenous People’s Day Showcase.
Virtual ProPride 2021
Pride at Work Canada’s Virtual ProPride 2021 season is open to anyone who’d like to learn more about important topics in LGBTQ2+ workplace inclusion. SAIT is a Pride at Work Canada member, therefore SAIT students and staff can register for both the free events and member-only workshops.

How to be an ally

It's important to show support for your LGBTQ2+ 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 LGBTQ2+ 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 LGBTQ2+ 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 LGBTQ2+ 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 LGBTQ2+ 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.

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 LGBTQ2+ 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 LGBTQ2+ 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 LGBTQ2+ 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 LGBTQ2+. 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 LGBTQ2+ 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 LGBTQ2+ 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 LGBTQ2+ 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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