Women’s Conference: A participant’s guide to the conference and campus

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The hustle and bustle left over from winter semester has officially settled, leaving campus a chance to take a quick breather to prepare for Women’s Conference.

A very quick breather.

BYU Women’s Conference is the largest gathering of LDS women rolled into a two-day conference, inviting women from all over the world to come and learn from many different presenters who will share their insights on a plethora of topics.

Women gather from all over the world to hear selected speakers at BYU's annual Women's Conference.
Women gather from all over the world to hear selected speakers at BYU’s annual Women’s Conference.

The gathering will bring campus back to life as LDS women of all ages arrive in hopes of developing relationships, gaining a deeper understanding of the gospel and participating in service activities.

But before the meetings begin, there are some campus insights for attendees to note.

Speakers of interest

Sister Sheri L. Dew, CEO of Deseret Book Company and former counselor in the General Relief Society presidency, will kick the conference off with a Thursday morning address from 9 to 10:15 a.m. In 2006, Sister Dew was diagnosed with breast cancer and has promoted awareness of the disease to women across Utah. She has given many motivational speeches to a variety of audiences and will be addressing all of the Women’s Conference participants.

Elder Bruce C. Hafen and his wife, Sister Marie K. Hafen, will conclude Thursday’s conference addresses with their own from 3:45 to 5:00 p.m. Elder Hafen has served in many church leadership positions, including as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy and president of the former Ricks College (BYU—Idaho).

The Friday morning session from 9 to 10:15 a.m. features Sisters Linda K. Burton, Bonnie L. Oscarson and Rosemary M. Wixom. Sister Burton currently serves as the Relief Society General President and exemplifies the positive power missionary work can have on member’s lives, as she just returned from serving a mission with her husband in Korea. Sister Oscarson currently serves as the president of the Young Women Organization in the church, taking the position after Sister Elaine S. Dalton. Sister Wixom, who currently serves as the 12th general president of the Primary in the church, will conclude.

The conference provides women the opportunity to do service together and participate in service activities. This years humanitarian project involves putting together children hunger packets and personal care kits.
The conference provides women the opportunity to do service together and participate in humanitarian activities. This year’s project involves putting together children hunger packets and personal care kits.

Elder Quentin L. Cook, of the Quorum of the Twelve, and his wife, Sister Mary G. Cook, will be the concluding speakers in this year’s conference, speaking Friday afternoon from 3:45 to 5:00 p.m. Featured speakers and many others will provide a unique opportunity for attendees to hear inspired messages and be personally edified by the words spoken and the topics shared.

A full schedule of speakers and their topics can be found here.

Campus changes and parking

BYU has been making a number of changes to its campus recently, one of the biggest being the new roundabout in place of Campus Drive close to the Wilkinson Student Center (WSC).

Construction will be in full swing during Women’s Conference, including construction on the new Life Sciences Building on 800 North and at the law building.

Parking will be available in the lot northeast of the Marriott Center and in the lots southeast and west of LaVell Edwards Stadium. The lots will be labeled for conference parking, making it easy for attendees to find proper lots. For more information on parking, check out the map and information found here.

Because of the high amount of participants in the conference, traffic warnings have been issued for the I-15 freeway and major roads around BYU, including University Parkway, 800 North and University Avenue. City construction in the Provo-Orem area will also be going on. University police urge conference members to be sure to watch out for that as well in their commute.

Other than construction and Women’s Conference, campus will be fairly quiet, as spring and summer semesters will be underway. No group will be short on activities though, with the bowling alley located in the basement of the WSC and the nice spring weather setting in for scenic walks through the campus.

Where to eat on campus

Construction has also been going on in the Cougareat in the WSC, finishing up to reveal new venues for conference attendees to eat. A highlight of the changes has been the installation of Chick-fil-A, a popular chicken-based fast food restaurant that provides quick service and a variety of items on the menu. Some old favorites have not left though, with Taco Bell still around and Subway preparing for traffic with the opening of a kiosk location just next to its main location.

BYU also offers more formal dining on campus, with the Cannon Center at the top of the list. Located in the Helaman Halls commons on the northwest side of campus, the Cannon Center gives options to all kinds of different tastes, providing different stations with a specialty. Complete with a dessert bar and plentiful seating, the Cannon Center is a favorite among students and staff.

Other more formal places to grab a bite include Legends Grill, inside the Student Athlete Building; the Creamery on Ninth, famous for its ice cream; and the Blue Line Deli, on the bottom floor of the Tanner Building, located close to Helaman Halls. Click here for a complete list of dining options on campus and their locations.

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