Hundreds of campus visitors expected for LGBT conference

Iowa State and Ames are accustomed to serving as the destination for large-group conventions and gatherings during the summer months. But an estimated 1,500 visitors are expected for a three-day conference to be held Feb. 10-12 on campus.

Call for volunteers

Faculty and staff are encouraged to get involved as volunteers. Duties range from assisting with welcome areas, to directing traffic flow and serving as ushers at lectures. Interested individuals can contact Brad Freihoefer (4-5433) or Chris Fowler (4-4154) for more information. A short training session is required.

The 2012 Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference (MBLGTACC) returns to ISU, where the inaugural event was held in 1993. Iowa State also served as the host institution in 2004. Conference registration opens at 2 p.m. Friday. The closing ceremony is at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

"Expect a lot of energy to come to campus," said Brad Freihoefer, program coordinator for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender student services in the Dean of Students office. "It's a Midwest conference, but registration is coming in from everywhere."

"The Butterfly Effect: Evolution to Revolution" is this year's theme for the student-run event.The planning committee -- a core group of 20 or so ISU students -- defined four LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, ally) "pillars" for participants to focus on, including:

  • History
  • Identity
  • Individual intersections
  • Socially just transformation and action

Freihoefer said conference participants primarily will be college students, and a few advisers. The Memorial Union, Stephens Auditorium and Carver Hall will be used for conference activities, which include keynote lectures, breakout sessions and entertainment. The schedule of events is limited to registered participants only. 

"Our conference is unique from the others on the east and west coasts. It's the largest student-run LGBTAQIA college conference in the country," Freihoefer said. "You're going to see a lot of rainbows and banners in the MU. There will be a lot of pride."