Heather Strachan

ISU's culture of exclusion on Catt Hall continues, 26 years later

Heather Strachan, Meron Wondwosen, Bob Mohr, and Allan Nosworthy co-authored this commentary. Iowa State University is revisiting whether to rename Catt Hall.

The September 29th Movement rising

In the Autumn of 1995, Iowa State University’s grand plans to name a building after alumna and women’s suffragist Carrie Chapman Catt were coming to fruition. However, the university administration had failed to hold open discussions regarding Catt’s actions during her lifetime and how her legacy could negatively impact the welcoming community and student life that ISU had committed to build. 

At the time, Sloss Women’s Center Director Celia E. Naylor objected to keeping Catt’s bad-faith, white supremacist actions under wraps from the student body. Naylor requested that the university hold open forums to discuss Catt’s history of political expediency, but ISU refused to seek student input. At the official ceremony, there was no mention of the xenophobic, racist, and classist tactics and writings Catt used to justify suffrage for white women.

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Iowa needs Warren's big structural change for mental health

Heather Strachan is a mental health professional, criminal justice reform advocate, and a former rural organizer for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign. -promoted by Laura Belin

Throughout caucus season I have fielded questions from advocates and professionals alike asking why mental health has gone largely ignored in the presidential race. All eyes are on Iowa at a time when we have reached the bottom of the pile in terms of the number of available beds, the number of psychiatric providers per capita, and the availability of community-based services. One in five Iowans will experience mental illness in their lifetimes, and this has far-reaching effects throughout families and entire communities, including my own.

The candidates are not solely to blame: the media are mostly not asking the question.

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