Petzold: Iowa State works hard to make every student feel like family


The Campanile rises against a blue sky on April 24, 2018.

Megan Petzold

There will always be people who are stubborn enough and close-minded enough to refuse to move from the ideals they were brought up on. And that’s understandable, it’s just the way they are.

However, Iowa State tries its very best to make every student feel included. That was one of the main things I remember from my freshman orientation. Everyone I talked to told me that Iowa State was an extremely inclusive, close, diverse and family-like community.

Being a college students doesn’t mean we are officially out in the world yet. College is just a more spread out, slightly more mature version of high school. Depending on who you talk to, they can either be mean and immature, targeting the one thing you hate most about yourself.

Or, you might just find the one person you can relate the most to, someone who won’t judge you for who you are. It really depends on who you come in contact with and how they perceive you. Sometimes these kinds of encounters can be tolling on one’s emotions and it can seem like when it happens, it’s much heavier than it might have been for someone who isn’t always targeted.

But Iowa State does its best to make sure students have their voices heard.

In the last week, I attended a discussion group about how students who attended feel included or how they feel like they are the ones being targeted. Along with that, I attended a walk out in honor of the recent school shootings. It was hard to be in that atmosphere and not have your voice heard.

The main thing that both these things have in common is that they both made sure all the students present felt comfortable and had a chance to get their voices heard.

During the walk out, there was an “open mic” time where anyone from the crowd could come up and tell the crowd what they felt about some of the statistics that were said or the topic in general. I think that this is a great opportunity that students don’t take enough advantage of. There are events where you can talk with others about your life and your experiences. 

Granted, there wouldn’t be a need for these kind of events if we lived in a perfect world and everyone made sure their peers felt included and wanted. But we all have felt the cold underside of society at least once and the feeling of being alone and unwanted. Some students feel that way a lot of the time.

We should do whatever we can to make them feel like they have a place in our school family. These events are created by students, for students, for exactly that reason. 

So, if you ever feel alone, isolated or discriminated against, there is a place for you. Iowa State puts on all kinds of discussion groups, inclusion clubs and peaceful protests. There is always a place for you to go and speak your mind. In a school of 36,321 people, there is bound to be someone with the same ideals as you.

Go out and have a revolutionary discussion with them. Find the family that Iowa State promised every one of its students.