Geoffroy says he will consider eliminating ‘dry’ Veishea

Jennifer Nacin

ISU President Gregory Geoffroy said Wednesday the continuation of Veishea may come with some loosening of its alcohol policy.

“Many believe that the ‘dry Veishea’ alcohol policy has had unintended consequences and encouraged large, off-campus parties,” Geoffroy said. “We will evaluate that policy and consider conducting Veishea 2006 under the university’s normal alcohol policy, which is already very restrictive.”

Veishea has adhered to the dry alcohol policy since 1998, which prohibits alcohol consumption by anyone regardless of age from taking place anywhere on university property during Veishea.

However, other officials believed alcohol restrictions should be tightened.

Loras Jaeger, Ames police chief, said by tightening the parameters of the dry Veishea policy, the university and the city of Ames would be able to better gauge whether there will be a reduction in underage drinking and off-campus parties.

“Whatever policy comes out of this will affect university property and university events,” Jaeger said.

He said there will be more outlets for young people to socialize, which will reduce the size of “get-togethers.”

Peter Englin, dean of students, said he looks forward to seeing the effects of this policy revision.

“The recommendations based on Geoffroy’s charge will create communication and expectations within the community. It’s all positive, shared commitment making this a positive celebration,” Englin said.

Denise Denton, Story County Prevention Policy Board member and senior lecturer in health and human performance, said a stricter dry Veishea policy would more than likely lead to a safer Veishea celebration.

“What the university can do is to not enable,” Denton said. “Where there are few standards, it makes it much easier for people to drink excessively. And when people drink excessively, they break things.”

Denton has worked to design and implement the current Story County keg registration and documentation ordinance, which holds persons 21 and older accountable for contributing to underage drinking, she said.

“It’s sending a message that says ‘safety first,'” Denton said.

Officials from the office of the provost said they were unwilling to comment.

They said they were unfamiliar with the policy and supported Geoffroy’s statement.

— April Chihak contributed to this article.