Sloss House to host a new semester of events


Katlyn Campbell/Iowa State Daily

The Margaret Sloss Center for Women and Gender Equity holds various events this semester including crafts and dinners.

As a way to build community and support, the Margaret Sloss Center for Women and Gender Equity will fill the new semester with low-pressure events.

The Sloss Center provides a safe space for all Iowa State students, faculty and parents.

“Without places like this, it’s hard to connect with people,” Julia Gomez, a junior in aerospace engineering, said. “It’s just nice being around people who are like-minded.”

The first social of the semester, a “crafternoon,” took place Friday in the sunroom of the Sloss House, located on central campus south of Curtiss Hall. Students and faculty filtered in and out throughout the afternoon.

Crafternoon events will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Friday throughout the semester for the Sloss House’s Feminist Fridays, formerly a speaker series. The event is designed to connect visitors with their community and help people end the week together in solidarity through the healing process of creating, making and creativity, according to the Sloss House website.

“It was very calming,” Gomez said. “I don’t ever do art, but it was very judgment free.”

Throughout the semester, participants of crafternoons can expect art in the forms of paper beads, blackout poetry, upcycled t-shirt bags and many more.

“I heard about it through their Instagram page,” Desiree Thayer, a sophomore in philosophy, said. “I like talking to people and casual events.”

Friday also marks the semester’s first queer and trans people of color (QTPOC) dinner hosted by Sloss. Once a month, the Sloss House invites queer and trans people of color for dinner and community.

“I’m most looking forward to meeting more people,” Thayer said, “then hopefully get involved in the community of this house.”

Events such as crafternoons and QTPOC dinners are carefully planned to support the Iowa State community.

“We’re looking to plan things that are very low pressure, economical and create conversation and engagement,” said Jehan Faisal, assistant director of the Sloss House. “We think of things that can be done alongside community building, and having something to do with your hands helps reduce some of the tension and anxiety.”

The Sloss House hopes that these events will help build community in Ames, where individuals can rely on each other.

“The Sloss House is a place to come and take a breath,” Faisal said. “It is an open place. People are welcome to just come and hang out. It’s a space available to students.”

Later in the semester, the Sloss House will open a resource room to support students. Items such as dry food, gender-affirming supplies and parenting supplies will be available.

“We’re trying to think about having tangible resources immediately available for students,” Faisal said. “Emotional support often feels more supportive when people have the things they need.”