Wandschneider: Listen to Sarge this year


Courtesy of ISU Police Department

This year, ISU Police is using the campaign “Sarge Says” — an adaptation of Simon Says — to connect with students during Veishea.

Jamie Wandschneider

A majority of ISU students look forward to this time most of all. This event is a giant celebration of Iowa State and the original colleges. It is such a big deal that people all over have either heard of it or come here to experience it themselves. A plaque on Central Campus even describes the event. If you haven’t guessed it already, this event is known as Veishea.

Veishea was founded in 1922 by university students with the vision to bring all of the first colleges together to celebrate what makes them special. Many traditions have come from Veishea, such as the famous cherry pies.

There are plenty of campus-sponsored activities to entertain students and give them something fun to do in light of the giant festival. There are concerts, food on Central Campus, tournaments and a parade — to name a few. The great thing about these events is that they are either free or are fairly cheap. Free and cheap are sweet, beautiful words to a broke college student’s ears.

It is not a big secret that other outside activities go on besides the ones that Iowa State sponsors. With that being said, plenty of other people come to visit, so they can experience the off-campus part of Veishea. These kinds of things can’t be stopped, but the ISU Police Department does its part to bring safety awareness for the Veishea celebration.

This year’s ISU Police campaign is called “Sarge Says” which has an image of the “Sarge” wearing sunglasses and sporting a classy mustache. The saying is, “Sarge Says…” paired with some type of safety tip in hopes of convincing students to make smart choices. The campaign may seem fun and can easily be looked over on someone’s newsfeed, but this needs to be taken seriously.

With campus in such a festive mood, safety becomes the No. 1 priority. Students cannot think of Veishea as another typical night on the town. To educate students on this, the ISU Police presented a Veishea Awareness program at Maple Hall on Monday. Even though it was fun to hear the officers’ stories, get a free shirt, eat some free pizza and play with drunk goggles, the program needs be taken seriously.

The main theme from the night was that students need to be smart and responsible, especially for their visiting friends. Whether is being that friend that stays sober to make sure that friend doesn’t do anything stupid or making your own personal choices, being smart and responsible can make it a much more enjoyable time for all. Unfortunately, when it comes to having a good time, making good choices are often placed on the backburner.

Over the years, the reputation of Veishea has been tarnished due to different events that have caused a ruckus in the Ames community. We have all heard the horror stories of riots and deaths that have happened on campus. It is too easy to say, “well that’s just Veishea.” This was not the intent when Veishea was created all of those years ago.

These tragic events not only put others in danger, it also sheds negative light on the university. Sure it is a celebration, but the celebration is not about going out and partying as hard as one can. Doing just this can lead to a series of unfortunate events with a large fine as a souvenir.

Veishea is a celebration, but the main focus is celebrating Iowa State. As students, we should focus on how our actions are reflecting the great school that we attended. When you see campaigns or programs raising awareness to safety, don’t just give them a quick glance, but take the time to learn from them. Being more aware about how to keep Veishea a safer environment makes the atmosphere for you, other students and those visitors.