For over a decade, the MBLGTACC Oversight Committee has been a central representative body of the conference, helping guide multi-year visioning, providing feedback and evaluation, and selecting future hosts.
Then called the Midwest Bisexual Gay and Lesbian College Conference (MBGLCC), MBLGTACC was first held in Ames in 1993—organized by a few students at Iowa State University—and drew around 125 attendees. As the conference community grew in the 1990s and early 2000s, new challenges and opportunities emerged. The financial and logistical demands of hosting the conference steadily increased; the demographics of attendees became increasingly diverse; and ensuring consistency in program quality, leadership preparedness, and financial management became a significant undertaking. And, beyond the confines of MBLGTACC, our nation’s leaders approved new measures to limit our freedoms and perpetuate a culture of shame, intimidation, and discrimination, making the conference more necessary than ever.
In response to this evolving landscape, participants and organizers established the Oversight Committee in 2007, when the conference was hosted at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Their charge? To guide multi-year visioning, evaluate conference operations, assume fiscal liability, and select future conference host campuses. That body, which continues to provide oversight and advice, is composed of popularly elected delegates from each of the thirteen states in our region.
Oversight Committee (OC) members represent the voices of all conference attendees—and fellow students, more broadly—from their state. Elected at state caucuses during MBLGTACC weekend, these representatives' terms take effect following the conclusion of the conference in which they were elected. While only currently-seated members are eligible to vote on items during OC meetings, representatives-elect (those elected that same year) are expected to attend OC meetings and contribute to group discussions.
States represented by the OC are Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Until 2015, the body was historically led by the hosting campus' planning team chair(s). This model was later adjusted based on approval to move forward with founding what would eventually become the Midwest Institute for Sexuality and Gender Diversity. Since then, correspondence and facilitation of the OC has been redesignated as an Institute responsibility.