ISO hopes to expand and grow this new semester


Jenna Prather

NAISA and ISO helped to serve food to students.

by Mo Marks, Staff Reporter

The International Student Organization (ISO) is gearing up for another semester and planning new events after a change in leadership. 

At the club’s first meeting of the semester on Jan. 19, newly elected president Esther Escalante gave a presentation to ISO membership detailing interest in not only continuing their normal programming but also in adding new activities and events for the spring semester. She stressed serving members of ISO and the broader campus, making all students feel welcome regardless of their race, nationality or origins. 

ISO’s Vice President Abby Fry said the same.

“I want any student with international interests to have a forum where they can be comfortable,” Fry said.

They both noted that even white students from Indianola who have never been outside of the country are important to the organization. ISO wants to help educate these students and allow them international experiences they may not be able to get anywhere else in central Iowa. 

The club offers a safe space for students to share their cultures with each other, host internationally themed events and discuss tension they may feel on campus and in the larger community. 

The ISO was broadly visible on campus last semester, dancing at Yell Like Hell and hosting several successful events including dance lessons and a talent show. The group also assisted the Native American Indigenous Student Alliance with their informational Thanksgiving dinner. 

The group also took students on a trip to Juarez, Mexico over winter break. 

While in Mexico, they helped Simpson pursue its goal of creating service-minded students by distributing donations they had collected from the community here in Indianola. 

ISO has experienced some significant changes over winter break. A new set of leaders came in following their elections and long-time faculty advisor Walter Lain’s resignation

Their new Faculty advisor, Keyah Levy, is the Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and is also an advisor for several other intercultural groups on campus. 

ISO held meetings in person last semester but has gone online due to the rising threat of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. 

Regardless of organizational changes, ISO continues to diligently serve Simpson College no matter what the future holds.

Anyone interested in joining ISO can contact Esther Escalante at [email protected] or Abby Fry at [email protected]