Iowa college uses student funds for LGBTQ conference that slams the Bible, conservatives

Timothy Dionisopoulos
Former Reporter

Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) is using public funds to sponsor an LGBTQ conference that features a panel which asks students if the Bible is an “excuse to hate,” according to documents obtained by Campus Reform.

A community college in Iowa is using public funds to sponsor an event which asks students if the Bible is an "excuse to hate."

Other panels at the conference explore the role of lesbians in the media, instruct students on how to fight right-wing propaganda such as “Fox News” and “Rush Limbaugh,” and break down the medical and social steps towards becoming a transsexual.

Official meeting notes on the DMACC website reveal the school’s Diversity Commission is using $1,000 in to fund the conference, entitled the  8th Annual Governor’s Conference on LGBTQ Youth on April 3 in Altoona, IA.

An email forwarded to Campus Reform verifies a claim in the meeting notes that the DMACC is also offering fifty students free admission to the conference.

The conference website states its mission is to “engage and educate students, educators, parents, community leaders, youth-serving professionals, policy makers, and others concerned about issues relevant to the LGBTQ community, and b) encourage networking and activism to inspire our communities to promote diversity, equality, and social justice.”

Jake Dagel, Chairman of his school’s chapter of the conservative student group, Young Americans for Freedom, discovered the of public funds in a trove of documents he acquired using freedom of information laws.

"Des Moines Area Community College is actively abusing student tuition money by funding a conference that advocates a promiscuous lifestyle,” Dagel said on Tuesday. “The conference also attacks Christians as it holds a workshop questioning the truth of the Bible.”

Conference organizer Marlana Schnell, the Chair of the DMACC Diversity Commission, did not respond to calls for comment from Campus Reform.

When questioned in a video interview at a press conference on Monday public about the use of fees for the event, Schnell defended the school’s expenditure.  

“I understand that and we stand behind our decision,” she said.

When asked about the subject matter of the panels Schnell suggested it was not her concern.  

“I believe that’s an issue with the conference,” she said. “We support activities which support diversity awareness.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @TimPDion





Timothy Dionisopoulos

Timothy Dionisopoulos

Former Reporter
Tim Dionisopoulos is a former reporter for Campus Reform and communications editor in the Leadership Institute's Campus Leadership Program. Tim joined Campus Reform in the summer of 2011, and his stories were cited or re-posted on the Daily Mail, the Drudge Report, Fox News, and other national media outlets. Tim graduated in 2011 from Providence College in Rhode Island where he was politically active on campus and in the community.
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