VEISHEA’s operation displays precision, planning

Brandon Blue

Six-hundred chairs, 180 tables, 32 tents, 6 generators, 58 barricades, 100 sandbags and 300 trash cans … and 45 portable toilets.

Those are only a few of VEISHEA’s ingredients.

Just ask the operations committee: 20 people in charge of supplying all the equipment at the Molecular Biology parking lots, Lake LaVerne and everywhere in between.

Since last year’s Veishea, members have been working tirelessly to ensure that this one has everything it needs.

For the first semester, not a lot happens, said Janie Imming, senior in agricultural studies and operations committee chairwoman. “We just take the other committees’ requests.” That list starts to be realized after winter break.

For the second semester, “We’re just busy contacting businesses,” Imming said. Members work extensively with ISU Facilities Planning and Management, Central Stores and Transportation Services.

While usually it works with the same external companies from Veishea to Veishea, the operations committee has added Classic Events and Parties to the list this year.

Classic Events and Parties will supply tents, tables and chairs to this year’s Veishea.

“We’ve been in contact with them all semester,” said Dan Hartmann, senior in agricultural studies and operations committee chairman. “That’s all led to right now.”

That’s a lot to keep track of.

“We came up with what we call the ‘Ops Bible,’” Imming said. It’s the giga-schedule of every Veishea event: pages and pages of down to the minute records on when and where things will be picked up, dropped off, delivered and set up.

Simply looking at the Ops Bible is overwhelming, but the chairpersons have their reasons for volunteering to tackle it.

“I just wanted to be involved in Veishea,” Imming said. “I like all the grunt work and behind the scenes stuff.”

The hard work is also a draw for Hartmann, who grew up on a farm.

“It’s just like the same work you do back home,” he said. “It’s just like that farm work, you know; you get excited because you’re doing a bunch of stuff. You get to drive the gators around all week.”

Many hands make light work, and the other committee members certainly add to the excitement. It also helps that 18 of the 20 operations committee members this year are from the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity.

“We just have a blast doing it,” Hartmann said. “We may be up for 27 hours in a row, but we have a lot of fun.”

Even when they’re not working, the operations committee knows how to have a good time.

“Last year we had four Gators and two trucks lined up for the Jamie Johnson concert; we’re all country fans,” Hartmann said of last year’s Veishea. “All of us were piled up on these gators, and up against the fence just watching it. And they were taking pictures and saying ‘There’s the ops crew, hard at work.’”

The crew gives each other nicknames, too.

At last year’s Veishea, then -operations committee chairman Mike Doran ditched the usual camouflaged T-shirt and hooded sweatshirt. As Hartmann remembers, “He ended up wearing a red shirt, overalls and a yellow hat, so he looked like Mario. And we just called him ‘Mario’ all week.”

“It’s the nicknames,” Imming said, “that are interesting throughout the week.”

“I earned mine last year,” Hartmann said, “mine was ‘Meatgoat.’”

Veishea by the numbers:

45 portable toilets

13 picnic tables

180 tables

600 chairs

32 tents, which range from 10×10 to 40×80

18 golf carts (14 for Veishea, 4 for the Vice President of Student Affairs)

4 Gators

9 sets of bleachers

90 handheld radios

6 generators

4 large-size Holstein grills

58 barricades

300 trash cans, with 900 trash bags

100 sandbags

13 extension cords

500 zip-ties

25 basketballs

140 jerseys

48 foil pans

40 orange cones

12 Veishea Corps Members (extra hands on odd projects when available)

20 Committee Members (including 2 co-chairs)