VEISHA Celebration Canceled After RiotBy: Val Powell - April 10, 2014
VEISHEA, Iowa State University’s annual week-long celebration, was canceled after riots ensued.
VEISHEA, which stands from Veterinary Medicine, Engineering, Industrial Science, Home Economics, and Agriculture, has been a tradition for the university since 1922. The festival features parades, exhibits, demonstrations, fundraisers, and lectures from distinguished guests.
This year’s celebration was cut short when a riot started, leaving a student injured by a falling light pole and another with a black eye.
The university’s President, Steven Leath, officially announced the suspension of the remainder of the festival on Wednesday.
The decision was made, as riots got out of hand, leaving upturned cars, street signs knocked down, and poles destroyed. “We cannot have any more property destroyed or incidents of this nature,” Leath said. He is disappointed that the celebration had to stop, but had to do it for the safety and welfare of the students.
This is not the first time trouble brewed during VEISHEA. There were also riots in previous years and in 1997, a man was stabbed and killed in a fraternity house. Taking previous celebrations into consideration, Leath, together with the rest of the administration, will be re-evaluating VEISHEA’s future.
In previous riots, the trouble can be blamed on the people from out of town who visited Ames to take part in the festivities. However, this time is different. “It’s never us. Well, this time it was us,” Leath said in a press conference.
The student who was injured remains in the ICU in Des Moines hospital. Doctors and family members are keeping a close watch, hoping that he recovers soon.
Authorities have already made two arrests, and are still continuing their investigation. According to Leath, students that are found to have been involved in the riot may face criminal charges, as well as expulsion from the university.
The decision regarding future VEISHEA celebrations will be made within the next month.
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