Iowa State University

Iowa State University Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) has shared several archival collections documenting underrepresented student communities and voices at ISU, including:

Hoodies and Hijabs Solidarity March Records: On February 9, 2017 Iowa State University students, faculty, and staff marched from Memorial Union to Parks Library to protest President Trump’s recent executive order that banned travel and immigration from several predominately Muslim countries and the suspension of refugees immigrating to the United States. Organizers of the march stated that the march aimed to “(1) bring attention to the interconnectedness of our struggles and (2) to protest the racist, Islamophobic, xenophobic, anti-Black, and otherwise oppressive executive actions of #45 [Trump] and his administration.”

Iowa State University Margaret Sloss Women’s Center records: The Margaret Sloss Women’s Center was established in 1981 to provide a centralized home for women’s organizations and to promote and sustain women through advocacy, programs, and information and referral services. The Women’s Center offers support and referrals to individuals who are experiencing discrimination, sexual harassment, abuse or just need someone to listen. The Center is located in the Sloss House, which was named for Thomas Sloss, former superintendent of buildings, grounds, and construction at Iowa State College (University). The house provides meeting rooms for groups and organizations to hold discussions, forums, and meetings. It is also a space for women to meet, network, study, watch television, and relax. The Center is named in honor of Margaret Wragg Sloss, the first woman to receive a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (1938) from Iowa State University.

Iowa State University Student Organizations – Multicultural Organizations records: A student protest, following the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr., was the impetus that established the Black Student Organization (BSO) at Iowa State University. On April 4, 1968, Black students gathered to form the “Afro-American Students of Iowa State”. Two days later on the evening of April 6, approximately 50 demonstrators from this group gathered at the Memorial Union and toasted to “Black unity on campus,” then tossed away their cups, overturned the tables and chairs and left. Within weeks of this action, the students had laid out their purpose in a constitution and formed the Black Student Organization (BSO). The BSO became the leading voice on campus over the next several years in a push for equitable treatment of Black students, the hiring of Black faculty and staff, an African Studies program, the promotion of cultural awareness on campus, and a center where Black students could share life experiences and providing support in a predominantly white institution.

Iowa State University Vietnam War Political Demonstrations Collection: The collection (1950-1998, undated) contains news clippings, resolutions, statements, reports, and other information regarding the protests against the Vietnam War on the Iowa State University campus. The materials also include transcripts and reel-to-reel tapes of oral history interviews done by the Special Collections Department with key individuals from the protests including students, administrators, and citizens of Ames, Iowa. In addition, the collection contains Michael Swan’s thesis (From Vietnam to Don Smith and Beyond: The Iowa State Daily and its Portrayal of a Radical Decade, 1965-1975) and six interviews.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Ally Alliance at Iowa State University records: The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Ally Alliance at Iowa State University (LGBTA Alliance) is the foremost LGBT/queer activism group on the Iowa State campus. The group has roots dating to 1971 with the formation of the Gay Liberation Front, whose purpose was to fight on all fronts for the rights of LGBT persons. This included the repeal of sodomy laws, the creation of nondiscrimination policies, AIDS awareness, and a more general societal shift towards acceptance of LGBT-identified people in both the Ames community and nationwide. Much of this took the form of rallies, protests, and awareness campaigns throughout the late 1970s to now.

September 29th Movement Records: The September 29th Movement was a student-led effort that described itself as a “movement dedicated to the elimination of racism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia, and classism at Iowa State University, recognizing that changing the name of Catt Hall, a symbol of exclusion, must be the first step in that struggle.” The group was primarily composed of students, faculty, and staff members from Iowa State University, but was not an officially registered campus organization. The name of the movement came from the publication date (September 29, 1995) of an essay about Carrie Chapman Catt that was published in UHURU!, the newsletter of ISU’s Black Student Alliance.


Iowa State University Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) presents “A Home Away From Home: The George A. Jackson Black Cultural Center” an exhibition to recognize the 2020 50th Anniversary of the George A. Jackson Black Cultural Center. Featuring correspondence, photos, event programs, and newsletters from University Archives collections, exhibition materials show the work of the ISU’s Black Student Organization (BSO) to gain recognition and establish the George A. Jackson Black Cultural Center

“A Home Away From Home: The George A. Jackson Black Cultural Center

Primary contact: Gregory Bailey (Bio)