Veishea commences: Opening ceremony awards organizations, individuals

Kallen Anderson, senior in dietetics and executive board member for the Veishea committee, mingles with guests attending the opening ceremony. Several alumni and current students in attendance were presented with awards for their contributions to either the Veishea festivities or their time at Iowa State.

Dalton Bergan

The Veishea opening ceremonies and awards were held Tuesday in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union. This annual event officially kicked off the Veishea festivities for the week.

This year marks the fifth annual Veishea awards ceremony. The Veishea awards are organized by the Student Activities Center, who also handle the nomination and voting process to select winners for each award.

Anyone affiliated with an ISU organization can be nominated for an award, with two awards going to organizations as a whole, one to a student, one to a faculty adviser and one for an event.

“Any student or adviser can nominate themselves or a fellow adviser or student,” said Veishea co-director Karl Kerns. “There’s a special committee within SAC that handles the voting process.”

Anyone is welcome to attend the opening ceremonies, though many of the guests were nominees for one or more of the various awards.

Food was served from 4-5 p.m., and guests were encouraged to mingle until the ceremonies started at 5 p.m.

Veishea co-directors Karl Kerns and Nick Morton, along with Tom Hill, senior vice president of student affairs, started the ceremonies by welcoming the guests and wishing everyone a fun and safe Veishea.

After a short speech from keynote speaker Simon Estes, the Cardinal Key Honor Society executives took the stage to share the list of new members who will be initiated this year.

Cardinal Key is the top honor society at Iowa State.  Students who meet the requirements are sent an email asking them to apply to the Cardinal Key Honor Society. Members are selected based on outstanding scholarship, leadership, character and service.

The new members will be formally initiated on the Sunday of Veishea. After presenting this year’s selected members, the Veishea awards were presented.

There are five Veishea awards in total. The first award, outstanding event of the year, went to the Bacon Expo. Outstanding commitment to diversity went to the International Student Council. The Sustainable Agriculture Student Association was award the outstanding commitment to service award. Outstanding organization adviser went to Erica Beirman of the Culinary Science Club, and outstanding student leader went to Onalie Ariyabandhu of the International Student Council.

With Veishea officially starting, Veishea committee co-directors Kerns and Morton said they are prepared for a busy week.

“[Our job] is mainly just planning the events throughout the year and making sure they’re successful,” Morton said. “Once your committee’s done with all of their major things for the week, you go help other committees, so as the weekend ramps up there are a lot of things that need to be done.”

They said that it’s taken a lot of planning to get ready for Veishea. As co-directors, Kerns and Morton have been planning events since the end of Veishea 2013. Now that it’s finally here, they said there is a lot to look forward to.

“This year, specifically, we’re working on parade revitalization by including more floats within the parade,” Kerns said.

Though both co-chairs are excited for the week, Morton said he’s ready for the weekend and the challenge that will come with it.

“It’s an exciting time, and it’s a very busy time. There’s lots of chatter on the radios and lots of things going on,” Morton said. “At the end of the day, it’s because we love Iowa State and we love what Veishea does for it.”

Kerns and Morton said that there will be all kinds of things to do around campus and the two were especially looking forward to the parade, as well as Veishea Village. This year, a total of 147 tents are registered to participate in this event, which is a record for a non-anniversary year.

Both Kerns and Morton hope that the weather will be mild so that students can get the most out of the Veishea experience. Veishea will end with the closing ceremonies at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday in the Campanile Room.