Editorial Board

The fate of Veishea is in the hands of Iowa State President Martin Jischke.

It is a fate he is expected to announce at tonight’s Government of the Student Body meeting, in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union.

Veishea is an Iowa State spring celebration that has existed for the past 75 years. However, since 1988, the annual celebration has been marred with violence. Riots, arrests and, most recently, a murder have occurred during Veishea weekend.

The death of 19-year-old Uri Seller sent a shock wave through this community that we have yet to come to grips with.

The violence may very well force a decision about what to do with one of the largest student-run celebrations in the country. It may be a change Iowa State is not ready for.

What could those changes be? A worst-case scenario would be an announcement tonight that Veishea has been cancelled for this year.

This decision would be the least sensible for the university to make.

To end Veishea would no end the alcohol abuse that occurs during the three-day party. It would only mean we are forgetting those who care about our university and community and show their pride in it by celebrating Veishea.

Another possible plan could be the prohibition of alcohol at all residence halls and greek parties. This would also be a bad idea.

The lack of such alternatives for legal adults would heighten the number of students to numerous off-campus parties. The disastrous consequences of this idea need not be explained further.

What should we do to keep the Veishea celebration so future generations can continue to enjoy this Iowa State tradition?

Clearly, swift and momentous action must be taken to prevent what happened on that early Sunday morning in April 1997.

First, more police involvement is essential, not just for public safety, but for a successful Veishea.

More uniformed and non-uniformed officers from the Story County Sheriff’s Department and the Iowa State Patrol are needed, as our local resources are just spread too thin.

Also, major events unrelated to Veishea should not be held during the annual festival. Events like last year’s KISS concert, though not responsible for Veishea problems, should be postponed until a later date so our law enforcement assets can be left to concentrate its efforts on Veishea.

Most importantly, though, students must take responsibility for their own actions and watch out for each other.

Veishea is a exciting celebration. But when when someone gets hurt, that excitement becomes abused and disillusioned.

Most people don’t remember Veishea this way and they don’t want to.

They want to keep the tradition of it alive. Seller’s murder was indeed tragic.

But it is an unfortunate tragedy that could have as well happened during Homecoming or any other celebration at other colleges.

With or without Veishea, Iowa State is not immune to such tragedies as Seller’s death. But to continue the Veishea tradition, it is vital for the entire ISU community support a celebration no other school has.

Iowa State is synonymous with Veishea. The two cannot be separated.

We must celebrate the tradition and hard work of all students, past and present, who have worked to keep Veishea a fun event.