Editorial: Positive moves after riot show better side of community

Editorial Board

Reactions over the cancellation of Veishea 2014 came swiftly after the announcement that Veishea would be no more by President Steven Leath on April 9. There were many who were angry; others were heartbroken. On one side were those who felt the cancellation of official Veishea activities would solve nothing and only work to punish those who had worked hard to create a special event for the community. On the other side were individuals who said the suspension was fair and that the event had been tarnished by the actions of a few, but tarnished none the less.

Amidst the many opinions and reactions was also the quick beginnings of several ISU students to make the most out of an altogether unpleasant week. These individuals should be commended on the speed at which they have worked to pull the ISU community back together and celebrate what makes our university special.

One student, Sarah Ashby, responded by starting a fund to help offset the cost of the destruction caused April 8. The website for Ashby’s effort, www.gofundme.com/874cpo, where students and others can donate however much they wish, has already raised thousands of dollars for the city of Ames and the young man who was injured by a falling light pole. Ashby has been working with officials from the city of Ames to make sure the funds go where they are needed.

Members of our greek community and others had a prayer circle April 9 for the young man injured in April 8’s disturbance, bringing several hundred people together to show support for another student.

Student leaders on campus, in an attempt to continue the spirit of Veishea and celebrate “what really makes Iowa State a community,” plan to walk the parade route April 12. Adam Guenther, a member of the Government of the Student Body, is helping to organize the event and is asking students to come wearing cardinal and gold.

Others have taken a less formal route to encourage more responsible behavior. At the corner of Hyland Avenue and Lincoln Way, one group of Ames residents displayed a makeshift sign reading “flip cups not cars.” Even the Ames Police decided it was a worthy message, tweeting a photo of the sign with the message “Thanks for the great attitudes here!”

Matthew Goodman, owner of The Fighting Burrito, said April 9 that he planned to be outside of his establishment every night for the rest of the week to connect with passers-by. He understands that most of the people in Ames are better than what one may think of them based upon the actions of a relatively small number of individuals.

All of these members of the ISU community have chosen to actively respond to a negative situation with positive answers, an action that says more about what Iowa State stands than the actions of those that participated in the riot. The community should support these efforts and choose to focus on them.

Here at the Daily, we have received dozens of letters to the editor regarding April 8’s events and the subsequent cancellation of Veishea. Some of the senders were alumni disappointed in the current student body, while others were current students ashamed of the actions of their cohorts.

It really is unfortunate that a few bad apples have made Veishea into such an unsavory event. However, a silver lining has shown through in the responses of many students and Ames residents. We can’t go back and change what happened April 8, but we can all choose how we respond to the fact that Veishea has been canceled.