“We want to make this conference available to a certain number of our students that might not otherwise be able to go,” he said. “As a community college we have many students who represent many of the different categories and we are supportive of all of them.”
Denson said the college’s diversity commission signed off on the contribution.
“We respect everyone’s right to live the life they want to live,” he said.
But Dagel questioned whether Christians or conservatives would be welcomed at the event.
“Being a Christian or a conservative – you would feel like an outcast,” he said. “This is not diversity. Any organization or event that targets individuals is absolutely not diverse.”
President Denson refuted that suggestion – and said the conference “promotes diversity and opposes bullying or any behavior toward diverse populations that is unfair, inappropriate or illegal.”
So what about the conferences targeting conservatives and Christians?
“We don’t have enough information to know that those titles are anything more than attention getters,” he said.”You try to put a title on a conference that develops interest.”
An Iowa Safe Schools spokesperson did not return calls seeking comment.