Margaret Sloss Center for Women and Gender Equity opens virtually for students


Katlyn Campbell/Iowa State Daily

The fair will feature 20 clubs and resources, including Al Éxito Collegiate, The Pride Alliance and Sloss House.

Madison Mason

As Iowa State has opened, the university has put safety guidelines in place to protect students and faculty during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected how students and faculty can access different resources on campus. 

The Margaret Sloss Center for Women and Gender Equity is located on Central Campus at Iowa State. 

The Sloss Center has temporarily suspended the use of the historic Sloss House by campus members other than the Sloss Center staff, according to Ruxandra Looft, director of the Margaret Sloss Center For Women and Gender Equity. 

“Because the Sloss Center is a former residential home on campus, its size and lack of proper ventilation do not make it suitable for public use during COVID-19,” Looft said. “We will be thrilled to reopen the doors to the Sloss Center as soon as we are able. In the meantime, we are excited to connect with our campus community virtually.”

However, Looft explained students can meet with the Sloss Center staff by appointment and when resources are needed. She said the Sloss Center is not open for reservations, but it is currently staffed and the staff can arrange for resources to be made available in person by appointment. 

The best way to reach the Sloss Center staff is by email at [email protected] or by contacting the staff member you wish to reach directly

Looft said resources and information can be found on their website. Students and faculty can also subscribe to their biweekly newsletter, which will contain information on campus resources, upcoming Sloss Center events, their themed feminist reading lists and more. 

The Sloss Center will continue to provide events this year, according to Looft. 

“We will be offering a number of programs and events and the format will be decided on a case-by-case basis,” Looft said. “Some of our larger events have been made virtual and the benefit is that anyone can join, you no longer need to be on campus to participate. We welcome alum and community members to join us for programs such as our weekly Feminist Fridays speaker series, for example. We have offered Feminist Fridays lectures virtually throughout the summer and have been excited to see so many of our alum join us from across the country, something that would not have been possible before.” 

More information about events at the Sloss Center can be found on their programming website.

Looft said an exciting event that will be continued this year will be their annual We Lead Student Leadership Conference on Oct. 3rd. She explained it’s a daylong conference that will bring in speakers and workshop facilitators focused on leadership skills and development from a socially just perspective. 

Looft also wanted students to know the Sloss Center and its staff are here to help students in need this year. 

“Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions,” Looft said. “All of us on campus are excited to welcome back our students and we know that this year may feel more challenging and extra confusing given all of the COVID-19 related changes and adjustments being made. Don’t be worried about not knowing where to go, where to find something or how to access something you need. Reach out via email or phone call and contact any of us at the Sloss Center if you need someone to help you figure out where to get started in your search. We’re here to help you have a great semester.”