laura kilbride

Laura Kilbride, student service specialist for the College of Human Sciences, and others on campus have created Advocates for Cyclone Success to help students at Iowa State succeed.

A new group has formed on campus with the intent of supporting students.

This group is known as Advocates for Cyclone Success (ACES) and was formed by Laura Kilbride, student service specialist for the College of Human Sciences, as well as other individuals on campus.

“Our group formed a few months ago,” Kilbride said. “It started out with a few staff members across campus and we had been voicing to one another our passion for helping to students and how upset it makes us when we hear about the situations they are in.”

Kilbride said the group found common ground and created the group on the basis of meeting and coming up with ideas on how to help students.

The first big event ACES is doing is a series of listening sessions so the group can hear from students.

“We want to hear students' stories,” Kilbride said. “We want to hear, are what our students going through on a day to day basis making it difficult for them to graduate with a college degree?”

There are five listening sessions currently planned, all of which are taking place next week.

These sessions are 3 to 5 p.m. Monday; 10 a.m. to noon and 4 to 6 p.m. Nov. 19; and 10 a.m. to noon and 2 to 4 p.m. Nov. 20. The sessions will take place in different rooms on campus.

“A listening session will be eight to 10 students per group and two to three staff members,” Kilbride said. “We have reserved various rooms across campus at different times. We are there to listen, to hear whatever they have to say. What can we do to help? What things are we doing that just put up more barriers?”

During a listening session, students can share anything they wish to or don’t have to share much at all. The session is completely led by students and will progress based on their comfort level.

If a session does not work for students or if they have experiences they want to share but not with a group, they can contact Kilbride directly at kilbride@iastate.edu.

Kilbride said one of the main reasons the group formed was because people on campus do not believe that some students at Iowa State are currently homeless and/or food insecure.

“We want to do these listening sessions to hear it from the students, so we have the information that these students do exist,” Kilbride said. “We are going to advocate for them and see what we can do for them.”

After gathering the information from students the group will then convene together and brainstorm ideas for helping students.

“What creative ideas can we come up with that may help these students?” Kilbride said. “What can we do as a group to help these students? What services on campus are missing that we can advocate for? We are acting as a voice for students in these situations.”

To take part in one of the listening sessions, check out this form.

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