Working Guidelines of the NAFSA Rainbow Special Interest Group (SIG).


The name of this NAFSA Special Interest Group (SIG) shall be the Rainbow SIG.


The mission of the Rainbow SIG is to bring together NAFSAns who share the following goals:

  • To counsel international students and study abroad students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+)
  • To support LGBTQ+ professionals in international education
  • To combat homophobia, heterosexism, and transphobia within NAFSA


No assumptions of an individual’s sexual orientation should be made from their participation in the Rainbow SIG. Any member of NAFSA who espouses the mission of the Rainbow SIG may become a member by completing the membership form, renewable on an annual basis.

Dues and Fees

No dues or fees are required for membership; however, we do sell Rainbow SIG items at the NAFSA Annual Conference to raise money for the Rainbow Scholarship fund. Donations can be made through the Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) website. On the donation form, be sure to select “Rainbow Scholarship Fund” in the Program Designation section.


The elected officers of the organization shall include: two Co-Chairs, Listserv Co-Managers; Membership Coordinator, Newsletter Co-Editors, Scholarship Coordinators, Treasurer, and Website Co-Managers.

Officers shall serve for two-year terms, being elected at the Annual Business Meeting of the Rainbow SIG held at the NAFSA Annual Conference. Co-positions will alternate electing one of the positions each year on a rotating basis. An individual may hold up to two positions simultaneously.

Qualification for office shall be membership in the Rainbow SIG.

Duties of Officers

Co-Chairs shall serve overlapping terms, one new co-chair elected at each Annual Business Meeting, and shall:

  • Chair the Annual Business Meetings
  • Communicate with and solicit input from Rainbow SIG members
  • Serve as the primary spokespersons for the Rainbow SIG
  • Be responsible for all media and external relations for the Rainbow SIG in a manner consistent with the views of the Rainbow SIG as a whole
  • Initiate and coordinate recruitment of volunteers to help with the work of the Rainbow SIG
  • Prepare a written annual report of activities
  • Authorize expenditures of funds

Listserv Manager shall:

  • Manage the Rainbow SIG Listserv

Membership Coordinator shall:

  • Maintain a database of membership records
  • Coordinate the recording of the minutes of Annual Business Meetings
  • Coordinate and manage all elections
  • Oversee the collection, organization, and maintenance of Rainbow SIG records

Newsletter Co-Editors shall:

  • Solicit articles for the newsletter
  • Produce and publish two e-newsletters per year to the membership (Fall and Spring)

Fundraising Liaison shall:

  • Act as primary advocate for the Rainbow Scholarship fund
  • Act as liaison with fund for Education Abroad (FEA)

Treasurer shall:

  • Act as account manager for all Rainbow SIG funds
  • Prepare an annual financial report
  • Provide the Co-Chairs with relevant information needed for responsible financial management

Website Content Managers shall:

  • Manage the Rainbow SIGs website in cooperation with, where the site is currently hosted

Historian and Pronoun Coordinators shall:

  • Ideate creative ways to promote the use of inclusive pronouns in the field and at NAFSA
  • Gather historical context and content from the SIG’s history and work on related projects

Regional Representatives shall:

  • Encourage Rainbow SIG involvement and participation at the NAFSA regional level
  • Help organize or facilitate organization of a Rainbow SIG gathering in the designated NAFSA region
  • Report to Co-Chairs occasionally with needs heard about within designated region/community

Advisory Board shall consist of the officers plus as many additional Rainbow SIG members who volunteer to serve and are elected by a show of hands at the Annual Business Meeting of the Rainbow SIG, and shall:

  • Cooperatively set an agenda for the Rainbow SIG based upon suggestions from members
  • Facilitate timely two-way communication between the Board and Rainbow SIG members on matters perceived as important to constituents
  • Serve as an advocacy group on matters related to development, education, and other issues of concern to Rainbow SIG members

Nominations and Elections

A call for nominations will be distributed via the Rainbow SIG Listserv in advance of the Annual Business Meeting at which time elections are conducted. Elections shall be conducted by a show of hands.