Stugov and city council talk public safety on 801 day

Ames Mayor John Haila, former Iowa State Student Government Vice President Megan Decker, and Ex Officio Trevor Poundstone during the joint session on Oct. 27, 2021.

Ryan Bussert

The Ames City Council and Student Government discussed the possibility of forming an action committee to combat the increasing public safety concerns of 801 day. 

On the Saturday before the fall semester started, Ames Police Chief Geoff Huff said 50 percent of all arrests and citations on 801 day were for out-of-town individuals. 

Iowa State Chief of Police Micheal Newton and Ames Police Chief Geoff Huff said that normally 801 day would end at 1 to 2 p.m. but this year it ended at midnight.

“When you have a party with four or 500 people, and gets to the point where we have to shut that down, which we don’t like to do, they’re not just going home, they’re going to the next party which becomes 1000 people,”said Huff.  “That’s what makes us nervous about these things.”

Both chiefs said they plan to encourage landlords of off campus properties to enforce their leases contracts, many of which have a limit of invited guests.

“When you have to disrupt the 1000 person party that’s when the riot starts,” said Newton.

The police chiefs both said they see 801 day seeming to be more like VEISHEA especially this year.

“We want people to enjoy and celebrate the start of school. We don’t want to be caboshing that, it’s just getting out of hand,” Mayor John Haila said.

The city council and Student Government also discussed the Climate Action Plan and biking infrastructure for the City of Ames, mental health and student engagement with the city.

The Assistant City Manager, Deb Schildroth, spoke about the Ames Climate Action Plan(CAP), and its’ goals towards reducing Ames Carbon emissions and improving energy independence.

It’s really important to have more input and participation as we try to shake these very relevant and actionable goals for the city to move towards a more sustainable future,” Schildroth said.

The CAP Supplement Input Committee is made up of 27 members to improve community communication into the plan.

City Council members Tim Gartin and Bronwyn Beatty-Hansen spoke about the Ames biking infrastructure goals. They said this is to improve the bike trail network in Ames and enhance connectivity between bike routes.

“We want to make it easy for you, we want to make it safe for you,” said Gartin, ”We want to have a bike system in our community that is comprehensive and connected.” 

The City Council addressed their concerns about mental health in Ames. They are currently looking for ways to provide aid to those who struggle with mental health and provide resources to them.

“People need to be aware of people around us and caring,” Haila said.

 Student Government voted to fund $17,000 on a new online finance program that creates a new finance web application for student government and other university organizations.

The new finance web application would allow university clubs and organizations better access to their finance information as well as providing a better interface for financial data.

The Student Government meeting voted to fund the Ames student association for Malaysians. The funds would be used to improve communication and promote Malaysian culture by allowing them to advertise their club.

The Student Government occurs at 6 p.m. each Wednesday in the Campanile Room of the Memorial Union.