Commission debates enhanced social events

Jennifer Nacin

The Veishea Commission on Improving Relations Among ISU Students, the University, the City of Ames and the Ames Community met Monday to discuss recommendations that could be included in the group’s final report.

The commission’s recommendations focus on building relationships, strengthening communication, improving community and university image, and encouraging and enhancing outreach and community actions.

“We are enhancing social opportunities, and they will be extensive,” said Laura Bestler-Wilcox, commission co-chairwoman.

Bestler-Wilcox, program coordinator for the dean of students office, said enhancing social opportunities for students in ways that will connect them with the larger Ames community will bring both worlds together.

Members of the commission decided to further investigate how to publicize community events in order to draw more students.

Joyce Durlam, of Ames, recommended creating a “student adoption” program, allowing Ames families to mentor ISU students.

Also recommended was a proposal to create a task force that could objectively research the effects of the current drinking age and the possible benefits of allowing 18- to 20-year-olds to enter Ames bars.

“I think we should form a statewide coalition to study alcohol in college communities,” said Chuck Cychosz, support services manager for the Ames Police Department. “Iowa State could be the leader in forming this coalition.”

The possibility of creating an agreement with certain Ames bars to allow students to stay past the current 2 a.m. closing time to dance was also suggested. The suggestion stipulated that alcohol would essentially be withheld after 2 a.m., but dancing and social opportunities would remain past that time.

Doug Gentile, assistant professor of psychology, said this would be workable because it would allow people to socialize further.

“This is a great way to enhance social opportunities,” Gentile said.

The recommendations that were discussed will be further polished and compiled into a report that will be reviewed during two open forums. The first forum will be at 7 p.m. Nov. 16 in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 515 Clark Ave.; the second will be at 11 a.m. Nov. 18 in the Pioneer Room of the Memorial Union.