Editorial: Think again before “unofficial Veishea”


Miranda Cantrell/Iowa State Daily

A crowd faces police at the intersection of Chamberlin Street and Stanton Avenue during Veishea on Tuesday, April 8.

Editorial Board

We witnessed one of the most beloved ISU traditions come to an abrupt end a year ago. Some witnessed destruction of the place many of us call home and some witnessed unspeakable chaos as hundreds ran through the streets, tipping over cars, throwing cans and bottles and rocks at police and each other.

Some of us watched as one of our peers laid bloody from having a light poll smashed over his head, a task accomplished by a few ISU students.

Someone once said the very definition of insanity is letting something happen over and over again and expecting a different result. Year in and year out, unofficial Veishea events masked the amazingly beautiful work so many students put forth to create the Veishea many of us claim to be so sacred. And because of the actions of a few hundred, ISU President Steven Leath’s hand was forced, bringing an end to the nearly century long tradition.

You may not agree with Leath’s decision. You may think there wasn’t enough student voice in the decision making process. However, this editorial isn’t meant to criticize one or the other. It’s meant as a reminder to those thinking they want to participate in their “unofficial Veishea” this year.

It’s a reminder that on a Tuesday night, ISU students and ISU students alone destroyed and critically injured their campus. And all for what? Something they deemed as “celebration?”

So as you gather and plan your “unofficial week of Veishea,” your meaningless parties of binge drinking, class skipping and questionable behaviors, remember why there isn’t an actual Veishea event for the nearly 35,000 students on campus to appreciate.

You aren’t fooling anyone. ISU administration and both the ISU and Ames Police Departments are on high alert of anything that may represent last year’s complete lack of respect and total childishness — actions that left this campus broken and confused a year ago.

There are groups of students who are dedicating their time and effort to bringing back the things about Veishea we loved and celebrated. Talks of a homecoming parade are in the works and multicultural students are trying to find a way to bring back the international food fair. By taking part in this “unofficial Veishea” only continues to infringe upon that hard work, just like many took that away last year.

So if you’re planning big acts of rage or want to get a big group together to “stick it to Leath,” saying there will still be a Veishea, we recommend to reconsider. Don’t let yourself be that definition of insanity. Because destroying your community and nearly killing a classmate isn’t something to be celebrated, and it surely won’t stand here at Iowa State.