Iowa State has a huge campus and that means there are bound to be spaces that are under-utilized or straight up neglected. These under-utilized spaces are always the best places to go to study, relax, or hang out with friends! We’ve outlined six of the most under-utilized spaces at Iowa State that you should check out the next time you need a place to hang out.
1. Agronomy Building
Located on the east side of campus, the agronomy building is one of the quietest places at Iowa State besides the library. Walking the halls I rarely ran into anyone and I didn’t want to talk to my friend who was with me because it was so quiet that it felt like I would be disrupting something.
So, if you are in need of a quiet place to go to at Iowa State to study or read or do homework, then this place is highly recommended. Off the hallways, there are little coves. Each cove has a round table with 5-6 chairs that I rarely saw anyone at when walking the halls a few weeks ago. Each space has enough outlets so if you are planning on doing some hardcore studying, the ag building has your back.
2. Food Sciences Courtyard
The Food Sciences building is located on the south-east side of campus and houses… you guessed it… food sciences. This building is pretty populated due to the fact that many classes either food sciences or other disiplines are housed here. However, there is one space in this building that no one seems to enter.
The reason for this may be that for the past year or so, it was off-limits due to some minor construction. Especially since they never really said that it was being re-opened… even though it is. Entering this space for the first time a few weeks ago I felt as if I was trespassing, even though every door was unlocked and there was nothing saying that we could not enter.
One feature of this space that is a personal favorite, is the fountain. Its craftsmanship is amazing and matches many of the sculptures and fountains across Iowa State’s campus. This courtyard holds two different spaces.
The first is a balcony of sorts that has a couple benches. This space overlooks the second space, which is the grassy area. This area is split in two by a gravel walkway that goes down the middle and up to the balcony space. This is a perfect place at Iowa State to go if you need peace and quiet!
If you and your friends are struggling to find something to do at Iowa State, then check out CyBowl. CyBowl is located on the bottom floor of the Memorial Union, across from one of the print shops. Many students either do not know this place exists or just do not want to go here.
But, it is a great spot if you are bored and want something to do other than watch Netflix in your room (there is nothing wrong with that).
This space has more than just bowling though. It also has a small arcade and also a few pool tables.
There is also no time limit here, as long as CyBowl is open you can stay and play however long you want! Unless you are under 18 and not an ISU student then you must be accompanied by an adult…sorry.
CyBowl recommends that if you have 5 or more people in your group to make a reservation, but other than that you do not need a reservation to play here. But make sure to bring your ISU ID to get the student rates!
4. Reiman Gardens
Technically not a part of the campus at Iowa State, Reiman Gardens is still a big part of the university. Located not even a mile south of Jack Trice Stadium, Reiman Gardens houses various plants, outdoor exhibits, local art, and the famous butterfly garden.
If you present your ISU student ID at the entrance then you can get in for free! Reiman Gardens is a beautiful place to spend a few hours. (It is even a cute date idea too). Reiman Gardens is full of art made by local artists as well as students around the area.
There are also a bunch of different plants and flowers to see here too… and trust me. They are beautiful. The butterfly garden houses around 800 butterflies. If you are lucky, one will land on you!
5. Sloss House
The Sloss House is nestled between Gerdin and Curtis at Iowa State as is better known as the Margaret Sloss Center for Women and Gender Equity. Because many students aren’t involved with this area and do not quite know if they can go inside, they don’t.
But do go inside! Talk to the staff, learn a little bit. It’s also a good place if you want to do homework uninterrupted. The staff here is always willing to answer your questions. You can even send in anonymous questions if you are more comfortable that way by starting your letter with “Dear Margaret.”
The Sloss House also houses many programs and events to get involved with. There are even two clubs housed through this organization: The Womxn of Colour Network and Society for the Advancement of Gender Equity.
They also have ACCESS (Assault Care Center Extending Shelter and Support) here in order to help empower victims of sexual assault.
6. Catt Hall
At Iowa State, Catt Hall is the headquarters for the LAS (Liberal Arts and Sciences) college. Each floor has couches or benches you can sit at to study or read, or wait until another class starts. The top floor is the Philosophy floor and they have a few couches and tables you can use to study also. They even have a conference room you can use (if it is not being used) to do group work.