Editorial: Officials make right decision with Veishea


President Steven Leath announced at a press conference April 9 that in reaction to the riots late April 8, he is suspending the rest of Veishea 2014.

Editorial Board

As of 5 p.m. April 9, Iowa State’s 92-year-old tradition, Veishea, is no more. It is uncertain whether or not Veishea will return in the coming years, but ISU President Steven Leath made it clear that our university will have to take a long, hard look at the question.

As far as canceling this year’s official Veishea activities, the university made the right choice. With the history of violent and destructive gatherings that Veishea has obtained over the years, our school can no longer give its seal of approval to such a tarnished event.

It may seem that by canceling many celebrations, such as the cherry pie fund-raiser, the Veishea parade and Stars Over Veishea’s production of “Into the Woods,” all of the wrong people are being punished. However, the university cannot be unclear in its message: if Veishea cannot be celebrated safely and with integrity, it will not be celebrated.

It would be very easy for us to talk at length about the choices made by relatively few individuals late April 8 and early April 9. This would be very easy, but it would not be fair to those who have invested months of their lives in preparing this year’s Veishea.

The 2014 Veishea Committee is a collection of more than 150 students who have spent the better part of the last year preparing for a weeklong event that has now been cut short.

To all of the students, all of the faculty, all of the staff, all of the Ames community members and to all of the ISU alumni and associates who have worked so hard to bring us a wonderful Veishea, thank you.

There is one group of people that feel a stronger loss of this year’s Veishea than the students do — the alumni. Alumni are some of the biggest contributors to the Veishea fund-raisers and some of the people who care the most about this university and its traditions. It is a shame that we are unable to uphold these traditions any longer due to the destruction of our community.

Students are missing the point of what Veishea is all about. Traditions like the cherry pies, Stars Over Veishea and the parade are things that people in the community, as well as students, wait year-round to attend. It is a shame to see that all of the events that Veishea is known for are being taken away due to an unofficial Veishea tradition — drinking.

It seems that many students have lost sight of what Veishea is about and substituted it with partying. It is no surprise that Veishea is going to bring partying, but that is not the main point of the event. It is a shame to see that the programs that are good for the university are being taken away because of the actions of students who were not participating in Veishea activities.

Veishea is something that students, alumni and the community can take pride in. However, if we cannot uphold the standards of ISU students and keep Veishea a safe environment, we do not deserve to have it at all.