Veishea Task Force’s deadline nears


Miranda Cantrell/Iowa State Daily

Jeff Woody, graduate student in biomedical sciences and co-president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee addresses Tom Hill during the Veishea Task Force’s first open meeting in the Pioneer Room of the Memorial Union on Thursday, April 24. Woody said that rioting issues seem to occur with each new generation of students, and that a solution should take this pattern into account.

William Dyke

The specially selected Veishea Task Force met April 24 to begin discussions regarding the future of Veishea. Tom Hill, senior vice president of student affairs, is the spokesman for the organization.

“It is a very tight timeline,” Hill said. “We have to move as swiftly as possible, but we have to be thorough.”

Hill said it is important that the committee members receive feedback from their constituents and approach their duties objectively. He stressed the importance of uncovering information to make the best possible recommendation.

“We’re not here to save it,” Hill said. “We’re not here to stop it. We’re here to fact-find and make recommendations.”

Barbara Pleasants, co-president of the South Campus Neighborhood Association, and Nick Morton, Veishea 2014 general co-chairman, expressed concerns regarding the phrasing of “fact-finding” because the open forums will not be random samples.

Several committee members mentioned that it is important to focus on the overall issues and recognize the differences between this year’s case and past incidents.

“From our point of view, it’s not just Veishea,” Pleasants said. “It’s disrespect for ordinances. It’s disrespect for property. There’s a culture of alcohol, partying and acting like you wouldn’t if it was your parent’s street.”

Hill said the June 30 deadline is quickly approaching.

The first point of order discussed in the meeting was a series of pen forums on the future of Veishea. Hillary Kletscher, Government of the Student Body president and committee representative for the student body, will facilitate a meeting at 2 p.m. April 25. There are going to be similar faculty and community forums as well.

Morton, Kletscher and Hill each emphasized that the task force cannot answer questions or express opinions during the open forums.

“We’re not stifling questions,” Hill said. “[People] can ask questions if [they] want, but we can’t answer them.”

Pleasants addressed “the other Veishea,” referring to the unofficial parties, events and negligent behavior that occurs during Veishea.

“I think it’s fair to discuss Veishea as an institution,” Pleasants said. “There may be reasons to change Veishea unrelated to the incident, but we’re here because of what happened. What’s driving this?”

Morton suggested the formation of an FAQ section to present information such as the Student Code of Conduct and other important documents and clarification.

Kletscher explained that the student body was split on the “purpose” of Veishea. She said that what Veishea meant for some students didn’t mean the same to others, pointing out the organizations, traditions and participants involved with official Veishea events.

“The decision to suspend Veishea 2014 affected everyone,” Kletscher said.