Orientation Guide: Queer spaces on campus

Brad Freihoefer, director of the Center for LGBTQIA+ Student Success, delivers an opening speech to all attendees of the opening ceremony March 5. “In the previous space, we had a sitting capacity of about 12, and we fill the space quite often,” Freihoefer said. “The new space will provide a whole new set of opportunities for students.”

Logan Metzger

You’re here, but are you queer?

Iowa State has many inclusive spaces on campus and many resources aimed at the LGBTQIA+ community, but not all are obvious unless you know where to look. Here is a guide to some of those resources and the organizations that make them happen.

The Center for LGBTQIA+ Student Success

The Center, as it is more widely known, develops academic and personal success, community and leadership for LGBTQIA+ and allied students. It offers a wide range of resources to students, such as a map of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus and information on safe ways to come out to peers. The Center is the hub of the LGBTQIA+ community on campus and is a good place for students to find the queer community at Iowa State. It is located in room 3224 of the Memorial Union.

Trans @ ISU Guide

One of the biggest resources offered by The Center is the Trans @ ISU Guide, which is meant to connect Iowa State students with gender-inclusive resources on campus and in the local area. Some of these resources include information on changing a legal name, gender-inclusive health care, mental health care and help with coming out to a professor. This guide can be found at: https://center.dso.iastate.edu/resources/trans.


Located in Freeman Hall, Spectrum is a housing community for students interested in building an intentionally inclusive community for LGBTQIA+ and allied people. Students of all genders are welcome to live in Spectrum and roommate pairs may be of any gender. This housing option is open to incoming freshman as well as returning students. The form to apply for Spectrum can be found at: https://housing.sws.iastate.edu/places/rlc-th/spectrum.

Student organizations

At Iowa State, there are nine LGBTQIA+ student organizations to get involved with, all of which create community and advocate for LGBTQIA+ equity. Here is a list of each with their mission statements. Their contact information can be found at: https://center.dso.iastate.edu/connect/studentorgs.

Aromantic Asexual Alliance

The Aromantic Asexual Alliance is a group dedicated to helping eliminate acephobia and providing a safe and inclusive space for members of the Asexual and Aromantic community along with their allies.

College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) Spectrum

The CVM Spectrum is a professional organization for members of the CVM community that identify as LGBTQIA+ and allies including staff, students, faculty and technicians related to the CVM community.

Delta Lambda Phi – Beta Lambda Chapter

Delta Lambda Phi is a social fraternity established to enhance the quality of life among all men by creating an inclusive and diverse environment with dignified and purposeful social, service and recreational activities.

Gamma Rho Lambda – Omicron Chapter

Gamma Rho Lambda Omicron Chapter is a social sorority for the LGBTQIA+ and Ally community aimed to exemplify the qualities of acceptance, diversity, unity and trust, which provides a network of assistance in the areas of scholastic guidance, emotional support, and community service while ultimately developing the lifelong bonds of sibling-hood.

Out in Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (oSTEM)

Out in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics is a group working to represent and advocate for LGBTQIA+ students in the STEM field. They are open to all students from any major who want to work for substantive diversity.

Pride Alliance

The Pride Alliance is a group dedicated to providing a safe space where students and guests can discuss and learn about the LGBTQIA+ community, their sexual orientation and gender identity, have support in their acceptance of themselves and strive to eliminate homophobia and heterosexism in all aspects of life on and off campus.

Queer* Graduate Student Association

The Queer* Graduate Student Association is open to all Iowa State University graduate students who identify within the LGBTQIA+ and allied community. Their main purpose is to provide social opportunities to connect ISU LGBTQIA+ graduate students across disciplines.


Transcendence is a group focused on promoting a community for people of non-dominant and non-cisgender identities to help educate people on campus about gender identities and to help people who identify within or outside the spectrum of gender identity to navigate campus and the Cyclone Experience.

Students for Cultivating Change

The overall goal of this organization is to provide those within Agriculture, or those who come from agricultural roots, access to workshops, networking, advocacy and educational opportunities as it relates to the LGBTQIA+ community.

Other spaces

Other spaces at Iowa State that are inherently queer friendly include the Margaret Sloss Center for Women and Gender Equity, the LGBTQA Faculty Staff Association and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.