Open Houses true to Veishea’s roots

Matt Kuhns

If the original purpose of Veishea was to present a showcase of Iowa State’s people and programs, then the Open Houses on Saturday are a must-see event.

“To me, it’s kind of the heart of Veishea,” said Angi Schumacher, Open Houses co-chairwoman. “There’s a lot of history involved and a lot of new things every year.”

Among the new additions to this year’s Open Houses is a catapult contest sponsored by Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society.

Students from several Iowa high schools will be vying to see whose catapult can launch a water balloon the farthest, Schumacher said.

The catapult contest is one of about 80 displays that will be open in the Veishea Village and throughout campus from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Jeremy Kass, Open Houses co-chairman, said Open Houses are “a showcase of the clubs and organizations that are part of ISU.”

“It gives [students] one day of the year to see what other colleges do,” said Kass, senior in dairy science.

Kass mentioned some of the groups that will be present include Team PrISUm, which will have its solar car on display, and the Agronomy Club, which is planning a tractor pull.

He said the open houses are a good way for students to discover the diversity of organizations at ISU.

“[Students] might find a club that they’re interested in joining,” Kass said.

Awards will be given to the best open house in each of five categories, Schumacher said.

The categories being judged are most inspirational, most educational, most creative, best overall and people’s choice.

One of the goals the Open Houses committee focused on this year was getting more groups involved, Schumacher said.

“We really wanted to work on recruitment,” Schumacher said, adding that she is pleased with the results.

Along with the variety of open houses, Veishea Village also will house Cy’s Big Top, a circus tent with activities for younger children.

“It’s like a carnival,” said Lesley Mehmen, Cy’s Big Top co-chairwoman.

Cy’s Big Top will be set up near Curtiss Hall from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and like the Open Houses will involve a variety of different ISU organizations.

Mehmen, junior in agricultural studies, said visitors to Cy’s Big Top will be able to take part in carnival games and other activities including face painting.

The Pre-Vet and Block & Bridle Clubs both will have petting zoos at the event, Mehmen said, and the ISU Hockey Club and Cyclone mascot Cy will be attending as well.

Tickets cost 50 cents each and will be required for most events at Cy’s Big Top.

Veishea gives 80 percent of ticket revenue from an activity to the group that sponsored it, said Theresa Rogers, Cy’s Big Top co-chairwoman.

“It works out kind of nice for the clubs,” said Rogers, junior in management information systems.

Since Cy’s Big Top is geared toward children from about 6 to 12 years old, Rogers said it’s usually alumni and their families who attend.

People of all ages are welcome at the Veishea Village events, however.

“It’s open to just about anyone that’s part of the Cyclone Family,” Kass said. “I just hope a lot of people get out.”