VEISHEA week in Ames is supposed to be a celebration of Iowa State University's Veterinary Medicine, Engineering, Industrial Science, Home Economics, and Agriculture programs. However, the celebration's history has been marred by incidents of violence, and after almost a decade with only minor issues, the violence returned earlier this week—with major consequences. After another riot in the late night/early morning hours on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning left one student hospitalized, multiple cars flipped over, light poles and stop signs ripped from the ground, and a fire station window shattered, many Ames residents had had enough. Letters, emails, and social media posts demanded an end to VEISHEA. Ames police, who were pelted with rocks and beer cans (some full) from rooftops, arrested several students and are still investigating the incident.
On Wednesday afternoon, Iowa State President Steven Leath cancelled the rest of the week's events, including musical performances by rapper T.I., pop/rock singer Andy Grammer, The Voice: Season 3 winner Cassadee Pope, Britney Spears' sister Jamie Lynn Spears, and others. Leath stated in a press release that safety was a major issue and that he would appoint a task force to examine VEISHEA's future, if indeed the celebration was going to continue at all. Former ISU President Gregory Geoffroy faced a similar situation a decade ago after students clashed with police during VEISHEA 2004. Geoffroy spent 2005 re-tooling the celebration with the help of a task force before rebooting things in 2006. There had been no major incidents since then—until this year.
What do you think, Central Iowa? Should VEISHEA continue? Are there changes that can be made to make the annual celebration safer? Make your opinions heard in the Comment section below.