Editorial: Alcohol rules on campus need change


Photo: Nicole Wiegand/Iowa State

Fans sing along to country singer Craig Campbell’s set during Live @ Veishea in the Molecular Biology parking lot on Saturday, April 21. Campbell is best known for his hit singles “Family Man” and “Fish.” 

Editorial Board

As we all know, Veishea has been a strong topic of discussion since the decision to cancel the event. As students, we can’t help but think about what would have happened to Veishea if things would have gone differently. 

Of course, there is the obvious answer that if we had chosen not to riot, Veishea may still be considered an ISU event and continuing tradition. There are also factors, however, that were out of students’ control that could have changed to keep Veishea a tradition.

One way that Veishea could have been changed by the administration would be to allow controlled drinking in certain areas. 

For example, if controlled drinking was allowed during the Veishea concerts, maybe more students would be in attendance and the hype around pregaming the event may be reduced.

Underage drinking, however, is never something that would be condoned on a university campus, so the drinking that would be permitted would be that of people who are 21 years or older. Even only allowing people 21 years and older to drink would have made a difference. If events would require showing a wristband to get alcohol, it could help limit the people who are allowed to drink while also creating the type of environment that the students are looking for.

As mentioned in the editorial on Aug. 25, students at the university level are interested in drinking. For many students, the most important part of celebrating something is the alcohol. Many students celebrating Veishea clearly took on the mindset that the most important part of the week was partying with friends and being drunk.

College students are not going to stop drinking because someone says it’s bad. They are not going to be told they cannot drink or party and — as shown in last year’s Veishea celebration — they are not going to attend events where drinking is prohibited.

There were arguments made on campus that people were rioting because they didn’t have anything else to do. That is simply not the case. There were dry events taking place Tuesday night of the riot, but students were not looking to go to sober events—they wanted to drink and party.

We are not suggesting that Iowa State starts throwing parties for students in the middle of campus and supplying alcohol to all of the students on campus. Rather, we are suggesting that students of age should have been allowed to purchase alcohol at the Veishea concerts or bring their own alcohol to the pancake feed that happened during Veishea week.

It may be in Iowa State’s best interest to create controlled drinking environments on campus. Events where, if of the legal age, the consumption of alcohol is allowed so that the students can get what they are looking for — both entertainment and a drinking environment.

If there was a way for Iowa State to give the students what they want for entertainment while also allowing them to drink in the area where the event is happening, perhaps fewer students would have been in the streets on the night of the riot and more students would have been at the Veishea events and celebrating our college tradition.