VEISHEA is cancelled permanently

President Steven Leath has announced his decision to permanently discontinue VEISHEA, supporting the recommendations of the 2014 VEISHEA Task Force and ending a celebration that has been overshadowed by destruction and violence over the past three decades.

“I understand that it is very sad and disappointing to see this 92-year tradition come to an end, and there may be some who are upset with this decision, but I am not going to continue to put students at risk so that we can preserve what, to many, has become a week-long party,” Leath said at a news conference this morning. “I will not be the president who has to call a student’s parents in the middle of the night to say your child has been critically injured in another VEISHEA-related disturbance.”

Leath suspended VEISHEA 2014 in the aftermath of an April 8 late-night disturbance in Campustown. He appointed a task force, led by Tom Hill, senior vice president for student affairs, to examine the celebration’s future. The task force submitted its final report and recommendations on July 11.

Leath said that numerous changes to VEISHEA and attempts to prevent related disturbances since 1992 ultimately did not succeed. Citing student safety as his No. 1 priority, Leath said his decision was a difficult one, but it is the right one for Iowa State.

“It’s time to stop the cycle. We can’t continue to do the same thing and expect a different result,” he said.

Some traditions associated with VEISHEA will likely continue, such as a musical theatre performance. Leath said he remains open to a future university showcase or events, but the content and timeframe have not been determined.

He also said he plans to work with members of the Faculty Senate, deans, and Hill’s office to evaluate the university’s student disciplinary regulations, and he plans to collaborate with city, neighborhood leaders, and local law enforcement to address the task force recommendations related to security and city ordinances.

Even as VEISHEA ends, Leath reiterated his pride in Iowa State.

“I don’t want (this) to, in any way, diminish all of the other extraordinary things we’re doing every day, in every college, department, and unit on campus,” he said.



4 thoughts on “VEISHEA is cancelled permanently

  1. running away from the real issues involved – as an ISU Grad I am totally upset and will reconsider any future finiancial support for the university

  2. My question is “Did he ever call a parent and tell them this?”. Again, another follower, and not a leader. When will Leaders stand up and get the celebration taken care of correctly. This is just another way of laying blame on others, and not taking the leadership role. Consensus is the LACK of Leadership skills. Margaret Thatcher was a true leader, not checking with every worry wart sole to make a decision. Such crap.

  3. So to rid the barn of rats, the president shoots the cow. This is not leadership. The committee should have focused on solving the problem, which is the drunk and disorderly behavior of some students who don’t belong at Iowa State, not the hard working students who love their school and showcase it to prospective students and their parents. How unfair. And to push this process through during the summer when most students are away from campus. What a sham. With the University of Iowa stepping up its efforts to recruit instate students, Iowa State is throwing away it’s biggest recruiting tool, How stupid. And to suggest that the president is open to some other way of showcasing the university. Wouldn’t that be some inferior form of VEISHEA, or does it need to be controlled by administration and not the students? How would that approach avoid the real problem, which isn’t directly related to what was happening on campus? The president is going to have to have to do a lot better than this to gain my respect. The outcome was predetermined by the choice of the committee and the way the problem was framed. The termination of VEISHEA should never have been an option, and the committee shouldn’t have consisted of the same old vested interests who weren’t bright enough to dove the real problem years ago.

  4. This is indeed very disappointing that VEISHA will be permanently cancelled. So much rich history of ISU and it was so enjoyed when I used to annually attend it in the late 60’s to early 80’s. I am sure it was a tough call but I really had hoped a “solution” of some sort could have been found to preserve this one-of-a-kind event. So many things can and sometimes do go awry during any celebration with college age folks and this is but one of them that seemed to. My ISU spirit is at a very low point today…..

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