Safe Zone Subcommittee
The mission of the Safe Zone Subcommittee is to serve as an advisory board to promote a campus climate that welcomes students, faculty, and staff with different gender identity and sexual orientation. Through educational programming, ally training, and community resources, its mission is to encourage understanding and support to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) students, faculty, and staff. It is MSUN’s commitment to provide an inclusive and supportive environment for all members of the campus community.
The members of the Safe Zone Committee are:
Student Support Services Counselor
Thank you for your interest in MSUN Safe Zone. My name is Amber Spring, and I am a counselor in the Student Support Services office. I am excited to be facilitating Safe Zone training on campus and the Havre community. I believe that building a culture that creates acceptance, understanding, and appreciation of LGBTQ individuals is imperative for an institute of higher education and am passionate about helping to grow that culture here at MSUN.
Director of the Office of Diversity Awareness and Multicultural Programs
Hello! My name is Cristina Estrada-Underwood, and I’m the Director of the Office of Diversity Awareness and Multicultural Programs (ODAMP). I have been involved with the Safe Zone for a few years now; I’m passionate about creating supportive communities. I believe that all MSUN students, faculty, and staff should be embraced in a campus environment that not only recognizes but also values the contributions of the LGBTQ individuals as they also have the right to be successful and happy—particularly in the case of students; as an educational institution, it is our duty to provide them all their social tools for self-realization. We live in a world in which heterosexism is privileged; however, my mission is to work hard in this office to decrease this transnegativity.
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Cowan Hall 304
Hello! My name is Cristy Ozburn, and I am an Assistant Professor of Psychology at MSUN. I’m excited to be a member of the MSUN Safe Zone team! I support an inclusive learning environment where diversity and individual differences are understood, respected, appreciated, and recognized as a source of strength. My door and my email are always open!
Cowan Hall 213A
My interest in being a part of the Safe Zone Subcommittee stems from my personal ties to the LQBTQIA community. Coming from Denver, CO it wasn’t uncommon to hear people talk about their sexuality. Many of my friends identify inside of the community and I myself came out at the age of 19. This inspires me to want to be a part of fostering a safe and accepting environment where ever I go.
Dr. Samantha Balemba
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
Cowan Hall 301
I am an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice here at MSUN. I am happy to be part of the Safe Zone committee because I believe it is people’s differences that make us stronger and I want to be part of a community that fosters and encourages all types of diversity. I am always willing to sit down and talk out some of the big stuff or just shoot the breeze! I know approaching faculty can be intimidating for students in particular, but be assured that we would not be part of these groups if we didn’t care about all of our students and if we weren’t willing to take the time.
Hill County Family Planning
406-265-5481 Ext. 256
I have always strived and prided myself on providing a safe place for any conversation that my clients wanted to have, so this was a natural fit. I’m sure I will make mistakes along the way, but I am better equipped to be a resource and provide client care in a culturally sensitive and informed way. I strive toward living a life improving the world around us in whatever small way I can. It means finding ways to give voice to the under-served and confronting injustice whenever possible. Speaking my mind can be scary when it is not a popular or socially-acceptable opinion, but I do it anyway.
People must support one another in general. Every. Single. Day. No back stabbing, no talking behind backs, no snarky comments about what they are wearing, how they look, or what they are doing. We must work hard to build one another up and provide support and mentorship whenever possible. We do not need to throw more roadblocks in each other’s way. Do better. Catch yourself when you are about to say something negative about someone. Go out of your way to help young people find their way. It is so very important.
I want to be remembered as a person who was kind and brave. I believe in order to change the little corner of the world you are in, it is important to speak up whenever possible. Being a MSUN Safe Zone Ally from out in the community helps to provide a larger circle of a the Safe Zone.
Dr. Steve Wise
Dean of Students
If you are a student, faculty, staff, or community member and wish to be part of this subcommittee contact any of the current members.