The Secular Safe Zone is a project of the Secular Student Alliance. Your registration as a Secular Safe Zone Ally is processed through the Secular Student Alliance, but you will not be signed up for any other Secular Student Alliance programs or email lists. Thank you for your support of secular students!
It is very important that you agree to the boundaries and expectations of the program. We provide recommendations, support, our experience, and certain boundaries for maintaining a relationship with the Secular Student Alliance; the particulars of how you relate with a student are generally for you and the student to define. We encourage this flexibility as, by being in-person on a campus or institution connected to the student, you are generally in a better position to gather information about their particular situation and give them personalized support.
We have the following specific boundaries for maintaining an ally relationship with the Secular Student Alliance:
- You maintain the Secular Safe Zone poster or card prominently in your professional space.
- You have reviewed and understand the training materials available on secularsafezone.org. These training materials provide recommendations and our experience working with secular students.
- Although it should go without saying, follow all laws, and never violate the personal property, privacy, or autonomy of any individual or entity. Further, avoid situations that suggest any form of impropriety. Practically every boundary below is simply an example of these principles.
- Never “out” someone’s religious identity. Just because a student is “out” to you does not mean they are “out” to everyone.
- You should provide support and an open listening environment. However, do not attempt to engage in counseling or therapy at a level expected of a professional counselor or therapist (unless you are, in fact, a licensed counselor or therapist, and are willing to take on that professional relationship).
- If a student reports incidents of bullying, threats of self-harm, or threats of violence, report that incident to the proper authorities as you would any other incident.
- Never engage in romantic, physical, or sexual activities with a student.
- Meet with students only in your professional space, or in a space that is sufficiently open to the public (such as a coffee shop on campus). Do not meet with students in your home, their home, or other secluded areas.
- If you have any questions regarding these boundaries, contact the Secular Student Alliance so we can clarify the boundary based upon your particular situation.
We do not have a “minimum” or “maximum” hours worked for allies, or specific required availability. We only ask that you be reasonably available so long as you maintain the Secular Safe Zone poster/card and are listed on our website.
Any ally is free to end his or her relationship with the Secular Student Alliance at any time, for any reason or no reason at all. The Secular Student Alliance may end the relationship with an ally for any reason or no reason at all, and will end the relationship if we become or are made aware of any boundary violations.