Veishea Task Force gathers input for moving forward

Tom Hill, senior vice president of student affairs, comments during the task force meeting on May 1 in the Pioneer Room of the Memorial Union.

William Dyke

The Veishea Task Force met May 1 to discuss the April 25 student body open forum and deliberate on the best ways to gather information regarding the continuation of Veishea.

“There were some things that students brought up about…alcohol use, how everything worked with police and parties being broken up,” Hillary Kletscher, Government of the Student Body president, said. “One thing I’ve heard is ‘why did police break up the parties?’”

Barbara Pleasants, co-president of the South Campus Neighborhood Association, mentioned that the forum-goers made frequent comments regarding student behavior.

Warren Madden, senior vice president for business and finance at Iowa State, wished to attain records of the number of organizations that have been involved in or utilized Veishea.

“It would seem to me that it would help us to really know, out of the eight to 900 student groups, how many really are engaged,” Madden said. “There are the individuals who do the leadership, but is Veishea really coming across the institution as an activity that large numbers of groups participate in?”

Richard Reynolds, director of the Memorial Union and Veishea adviser, said that “Veishea by the Numbers” for the last five years should be available. Veishea by the Numbers is the annual report put out by Veishea detailing the various attendees, the organizations involved and other quantified information.

Tom Hill, senior vice president of student affairs, also mentioned that the task force isn’t simply looking at Veishea’s past, but looking at the current form of Veishea and the involvement of students, organizations and businesses.

Madden also wondered what the City Council and Chamber of Commerce’s views of Veishea were regarding the business aspects and “what [Veishea] does to the Ames community.”

“That’s one of the things we need to talk about during the discussion phase,” Hill said. “If it’s impacted, should that weigh heavily in the decision-making process as to whether Veishea’s relevant, whether it’s following its purpose, its mission?”

Hill reiterated that the task force’s primary job was to objectively gather information until the beginning of the “decision-making phase,” after outside opinions, concerns, comments and facts had been collected.

Jeff Woody, co-president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, was curious what effect canceling Veishea had upon student enrollment, noting the responses of several students at the April 25 open forum.

According to the fact book, there were slight variations in student enrollment around the years of Veishea cancellations and major riots, but as Hill pointed out, it would be difficult to ascertain the exact reasons for the drops or rises in enrollment over the years.

Hill entertained the notion that Veishea’s “purposes” may have to be changed. He explained that part of the task force’s job is to figure out whether the 1992 “Nine Purposes of Veishea” still fit or if they needed to be redefined to “a week of entertainment.”

There are three additional open forums planned, and all open forums and the task force meetings are open to the public. For more information, visit the official website at or contact them at [email protected].