Task force votes on future of Veishea name, entertainment

Bill Dyke

The Veishea Task Force chose to continue with a recommendation for a university-wide event at the June 12 meeting, but the name of “Veishea” remains in limbo.

The Veishea Task Force moved forward from its decision at the June 5 meeting, which was a unanimous vote to “discontinue Veishea in its current form.” 

The meeting began with deliberation on whether or not to have an overarching university-wide event.

Michael Owen, Faculty Senate representative, said he did not support a university-wide event.

“I would argue no based on the historic record as to what occurs,” Owen said.

Owen citied a suggestion from Craig Anderson, distinguished professor of psychology, that ISU students would still associate partying and rioting with the new, but fundamentally similar, celebration.

However, the task force voted 11-3-1 in favor of considering options for an overarching, university-wide event.

Discussion moved to whether evening entertainment should be solely student-run events — showcasing events such as skits, student bands and the fashion show — or remain as large concerts.

Karl Kerns and Nick Morton, 2014 Veishea co-chairmen, said that when “big name” artists were featured, specifically mentioning the B.O.B. concert of 2013, the streets were dead after the event.

Bob Currie said that the evening entertainment made up 60 percent of Veishea’s budget, making it the face of Veishea. However, the big concerts did not match up with the “nine purposes of Veishea.”

“I can support a concert as being a student social,” Currie said. “What I can’t support is using the concert as a venue to help control what’s happening in Campustown.”

The task force overall agreed that the evening entertainment portion of the event should focus on the work of students.

The task force’s final focus was on whether or not to keep the name of Veishea.

“Is the name worth fighting for?” Morton asked the task force.

The historical, symbolic and economic contexts of the name, as well as its ties to the negatives of the party, drinking and rioting culture, were all discussed.

The group voted 12-3-1 to move forward without the name Veishea, but this was not a binding vote and is subject to change.

Next week, the task force will continue deliberation on the duration and time of the event and whether the event should focus on alumni or current students.

All task force meetings are open to the public. For more information, you can visit veisheataskforce.iastate.edu or contact the group at [email protected].