Veishea review accelerated

Tracy Deutmeyer

Iowa State President Martin Jischke said he will take a look at any recommendation ISU’s Veishea Advisory Committee gives him for review — including a recommendation to eliminate Veishea.

At a news conference on Monday afternoon in the president’s office, Jischke said he asked Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Dan Robinson, chairman of the committee, to “accelerate the review of Veishea that we conduct each year after Veishea is concluded.”

Jischke said he has “asked that the review pay particular attention” to the slaying of 19-year-old Harold “Uri” Sellers, who was stabbed to death and found lying outside Adelante Fraternity on Welch Avenue early Sunday morning.

Jischke said he wants to keep open questions that the slaying could have something to do with how the university organizes Veishea. “I am prepared to make changes,” he said.

Jischke said the first order in confronting the incident is to help the family deal with the loss of Sellers. The second is to “apprehend those responsible for this.”

“This kind of senseless violence has no place in our community or our society and we vow to do all we can to see that it doesn’t happen again,” Jischke said.

Jischke said considering the fact that many students live off campus and many can drink legally, the university has limitations as to what it can do to enforce laws during Veishea festivities. He said the university has more authority with residence halls and greek houses.

“There are limitations to what we can do. That doesn’t mean we can’t do anything.”

In wake of the 1988, 1992 and 1994 Veishea riots, Jischke said all evidence showed that students had stepped up to the challenge to make this year’s Veishea safe — until 2:53 a.m. on Sunday.

“Through Friday and Saturday, this was one of the most successful Veisheas in its 75-year history. It was very well-organized, well-managed and every aspect of it appeared to come off very well,” Jischke said.

Robinson said any speculation that ISU has seen the last of Veishea is premature.

“We have stepped up the critique,” Robinson said.

Robinson will work with representatives from the ISU Department of Public Safety, the Ames Police Department, students and university committee members.

Jischke said since the incident is an “active investigation, it would be inappropriate for me to comment about the details of the incident.”

The president did say he wants to encourage “anyone with information about this incident to please contact the Ames police. We want to bring those responsible to justice.”