Student Affairs & University Events

UMass Lowell Ally Space

Mission Statement

The mission of the Ally Space Program at the University of Massachusetts Lowell is:
  • To offer students, faculty, and staff the educational opportunity to learn more about the bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) community as a whole.
  • To provide information and resources to support this community on campus
  • To facilitate a greater visibility , awareness and understanding of the LGBTQ issues
  • To train allies to stand with and advocate for LGBTQ people
Read more about Ally:

Our Goal: A Safe and Diverse Campus

The program is designed to promote UMass Lowell's commitment to diversity and to create a safe and healthy campus environment through education, support, advocacy and the fostering of equity for all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. The program also strives to cultivate an open-minded group of leaders on campus who are committed to educating others and themselves about the oppression of individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and to combat heterosexism, homophobia, transphobia, cisgender bias and gender-ism on a personal and institutional level. The goal is to provide a baseline knowledge of language, the stages of coming out, how to offer helpful peer support and the means with which to develop deep discussions and effectively apply them to all aspects of life.

Fall 2013 Training Dates

Faculty and Staff Training
  • September 16, 2013- 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Southwick 240
  • December 12, 2013 - 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Southwick 240
Student Training
  • October 3, 2013 - 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Southwick 240
  • December 4, 2013 - 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Southwick 240

The Ally Space Training program is offered by The Division of Student Affairs. Our goal is to provide a network of faculty, staff, and students who are prepared to serve as a resource for students by training small groups at a time. Over 100 UMass Lowell faculty, staff, and students have volunteered to become Allies. All Allies have attended a training workshop to learn about the benefits and responsibilities of being an Ally. Every Ally signs a contract, signaling their successful completion of the program. and receives an official "Ally Space" placard. These placards can be placed outside of the Ally's office or place of residence and identifies their willingness to provide a listening ear, and support for LGBTQ issues. Training workshops are offered approximately 4 times per semester, twice for student and twice for faculty/staff.


Additional Training Opportunities and Ally Events

Are you interested in hosting an informational training session for your staff or student group? We are now offering "LGBT 101," which provides participants with an overview of LGBT information and issues. If you are interested in having us facilitate this training, please contact Amy_Liss@uml.edu.

Ally Space Core Group Members

  • Amy Liss, Associate Director of Student Activities & Leadership
  • Connie Cabello, Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs
  • Marshall Greenleaf, Assistant Director of Residence Life
  • Christopher Hansen, Faculty Advisor/Assistant Professor, College of Engineering
  • Christyn Bergquist, Coordinator of FYRE Program
  • Kirsti Isokungus, LGBTQ Program Assistant
  • Justin Toner, Graduate Fellow, Office of Multicultural Affairs

Words from Allies

I attended ally space at the recommendation of a friend and I am so glad that I went. The training not only taught me more about the struggles that people who identify as LGBTQ face, but also taught me how to better understand those struggles. I feel that any student interested in being an ally and supporter of the LGBTQ community should attend the ally space training. It gives insight that I certainly did not have prior to the training. As an Ally to the community, I can never fully understand what those who are members of the community face, but by completing this training I can educate myself so that I can be the best ally that I can.

-Bridget Sullivan, UMass Lowell Student

Ally Space was a great program to learn more about the LGBTQ community and history. It was a great asset for Residence Life, students came to talk to me soley because I had the plaque on my door!

-Sophie Hansen, UMass Lowell Alumn and former Resident Advisor

I believe that the Ally Space Program gives an opportunity for the students to approach the staff members who are part of this program and who have ally space display stickers on their office doors knowing that these individuals will not be judgmental and will listen, support, direct and assist them with their questions and concerns. Having over 650 students in the Mechanical Engineering department I have come across some who needed assistance and have worked within the department because they felt comfortable among the staff and faculty. I am happy to be a part of this program.

-Jacqueline Paradis, Administrative Assistant, Mechanical Engineering Department 

I participated in Ally Space training at other institutions but felt that my experience being trained at UMass Lowell was much more personal. As opposed being "being talked" the entire training, the facilitators encouraged dialogue, questions and the sharing of personal experiences. Although we often think of participating in Ally Space Program training in relation to improving our work with students, I believe it's significant to consider yourself an ally for everyone on campus. Through increased awareness and involvement, I hope to create a safe environment for anyone who might need to talk.

-Tasha Baclawski, Associate Director of Student Activities and Leadership