Letter: Cancellation of Veishea removes students’ chance to prove worth

As an ISU alumna and Ames community member, I am very, very sad about the decision to cancel Veishea.

I’m sad that our youngest son, an ISU freshman, will not experience the positive opportunities the true Veishea events provided over the decades.

I’m sad that potential students will no longer be inspired by the beauty of the campus in the spring and the accomplishments of the students and the university faculty and staff.

I’m sad that thousands of volunteer hours and fundraising for needed scholarships will no longer be shared or given.

Nearly a century of tradition has just been thrown away. Something that connected all ISU graduates since the 1920s is now broken. It amazes me that a university and community so accomplished in so many different areas really believed they did not have the capacity to hold students to a higher standard of behavior — a very sad commentary on so many different levels.

Veishea, at least in its original and intended form, made Iowa State unique and different in the spring. I guess it is OK to be just like every other school and only have spring break and finals to look forward to during the second semester.

My guess is the spring off-campus parties will still happen, but the positive activities like the parade, cherry pies, milking cows, teaching city kids what farmers do, racing cockroaches, homemade ice cream, chemistry and physics shows, the Groove concerts, Stars over Veishea and department open houses — among many others — will be gone forever.

Maybe today’s students just aren’t ready for the responsibility of hosting such a large event. I think they will miss the opportunity to prove themselves ready.

I have been informed by President Steven Leath that my feelings about Veishea put me in a “small minority.” If that is true, then letting go of treasured ISU traditions is only just beginning.