Safe Haven CFA
“We strive for love to be louder than hate and for all to feel welcome.” Ben Boutell, the president of CFA’s newest student organization, Safe Haven CFA, wants to give CFA students a safe place to develop their authentic selves.
By Emma Lucas
Safe Haven CFA was created in September 2020. Its primary focus is to support CFA’s LGBTQ* community while also serving as a liaison between CFA faculty, staff, and administration. Boutell also says that he hopes his organization will “foster growth and acceptance within CFA and the surrounding campus community while also advocating for our LGBTQ* students who are still experiencing discrimination on campus.”
Dr. Beth Arnold, Associate Dean of CFA, serves as a faculty advisor for Safe Haven, and she has several hopes for this organization, one of which is to bring awareness to the equity difficulties in the LGBTQ* community. Dr. Arnold, along with Lee Eachus, Arts Administration lecturer, are there to “to support the student leaders and our new community and to help them organize as well as generate topics of interest that will engage healthy dialog about issues that surround the LGBTQ* community.”
Why now? Boutell says that “because CFA already encompasses a diverse population, the timing is right for us to support and strengthen minority groups that are vital to the growth of our community.” While Boutell didn’t model this on any particular organization, he intends to recognize and honor the people and organizations before him that have paved the way for LGBTQ* acceptance in order to “create a compassionate path” moving forward.
Safe Haven plans to create opportunities to connect students and allies while also crafting healthy programming that will encourage listening to different viewpoints while maintaining respect for each individual’s unique differences. UK’s Office of LGBTQ* Resources has contributed to the development of Safe Haven, and Boutell hopes Safe Haven can form relationships with local LGBTQ* affirming churches, medical facilities, and more. In the midst of COVID-19, Safe Haven gatherings will be limited to keep all members safe and healthy. The organization will hold in-person events as soon as it is safe to do so.
Boutell encourages any students, faculty, and staff to get involved. If you are interested in joining or would like more information, contact: