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VEISHEA Features More Late-Night Events
Organizer Want Celebration To Represent Tradition
DES MOINES, Iowa -- VEISHEA returns to the Iowa State University campus this
week, and students and administrators want to make it more about tradition and
less of an excuse to party.
The name of the annual event is an acronym that combines the first letters of the
colleges ISU had in 1922, which was the year the event was created.
Iowa State University canceled the annual student celebration last year after riots
broke out at the 2004 celebration.
Expectations for this year's celebration are high. ISU administrators said that they
want VEISHEA to be disturbance-free, but they also want to see more students
actively involved.
From sumo wrestling on the lawn of central campus to jousting under the
campanile, VEISHEA organizers have made it their goal to offer something for
everyone this year, including more late-night options.
"We know that students don't all go to bed at 11 at night, so we have some
activities for them to participate in," said VEISHEA's co-chair Jessica Lecy.
She said a concert series will run until 3 a.m.
Organizers have moved events, such as the Taste of VEISHEA, off Welch
Avenue and onto campus.
ISU and Ames police are also reaching out with their Frank the Flamingo
campaign. Authorities have put full-page advertisements in the ISU Daily
newspaper and officers are handing out free T-shirts to students.
Administrators said the effort has made an impact.
"It takes that us-against-them edge off this thing," said Thomas Hill, ISU's vice
president of Student Affairs.
Along with that organizers and administrators want to see VEISHEA return to
what it once was and that means changing the mind-set of a lot of students.
"There's a lot more than just going to the bars, just having a party. There are a lot
of things happening on campus," Hill said.
There are certain expectations in order for VEISHEA to stay on campus.
"I have an expectation that this VEISHEA will go off without a hitch, I mean, it'll
be an excellent celebration. Students will have fun and then when it's all said and
done, instead of having a disturbance, students will say, 'This is what we want
next year,'" Hill said.
Organizers and school officials said that if more students are planning and
participating in VEISHEA, they will have more of an investment in the event and
will be less likely to tear it down.
There are activities on campus throughout the week, and many if the main
events are planned for this weekend.
Things will kick off with an opening ceremony at 12:15 p.m. Friday.