Task Force to decide fate of future celebrations


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.

William Dyke

President Steven Leath noted that he would be assembling a task force to evaluate the aspects and risks of Veishea in the future.

Leath said in Wednesday’s press conference that he will assemble a team of faculty and students for the task force. From the evaluation, a recommendation would be determined and guide Leath’s decisions regarding the future of official celebrations.

“It would be irresponsible of me to decide what the future of Veishea will look like without that input,” Leath said during the conference.

Leath expressed his concern for the safety of the students, and said that Veishea, in its current form, would be unlikely to continue. Leath refused to let an event continue that may put the lives and safety of ISU students at increased risk.

Government of the Student Body President Hillary Kletscher, has been working closely with the university to ensure the voices of the students are being heard. At the Senate meeting Wednesday evening, Kletscher addressed the GSB, sharing details discussed in her meetings with the President Leath.

“This wasn’t a decision that was taken lightly,” Kletscher said. “This was something that was fully discussed.”

Kletscher asked that the GSB collaborate with her in encouraging fellow Cylcones to act responsibly over the next few days and to collect student input, questions and concerns. Kletscher did note that Leath had allowed her to select four to five students from the student body to work with the specialized task force.

Kletscher said she wanted to utilize students from outside the student government.

“I will take any student input,” Kletscher said. “I still only know what I know. It’s absolutely essential that we get student input as we move forward,” Kletscher said.

Kletscher said she is willing to accept all student input, but the students selected would be an extremely diverse task force of students outside of the general student leadership. Students from various grade levels and departments would be incorporated into the team to ensure that a mixed collection of concerned voices are heard.

“This is important of all students,” Kletscher said. “Veishea is a part of the culture.”

The task force would begin meeting no later than next week and periodically over the next few weeks, possibly through finals. Kletscher said an evaluation and recommendation would be determined by no later than the end of this semester.

“We’re bringing in input from lots of different sources,” Kletscher said. “[We’re] drawing on current students, city of Ames, faculty and other resources.”

Kletscher stressed that if a student has any concerns they should contact her immediately.

The task force would be determined by the end of this week to immediately begin addressing the concerns of the university, city and student body and evaluating the future of Veishea.

“The task force has to consider the university,” Leath said during Wednesday’s press conference. “[There is a] very real black eye that results from the history of ugly incidents surrounding an otherwise lovely event.”

You can contact Kletscher at [email protected].