People on Twitter may have noticed “#VEISHEA2K14” or “Ames” trending on Twitter in the past 24 hours or so, and I’m sure a lot of people were wondering what that was. VEISHEA is an annual celebration held at Iowa State each spring to celebrate the school’s history, with each letter representing one of the colleges at the time it was named. It’s led to some crazy college parties in the past.
However, it was taken too far last night, with a car flipped over and two light posts torn down by people who apparently didn’t understand VEISHEA. One of the poles struck a young man on the head, and he had to be air-lifted to the hospital and is said to be in critical condition. All activities have now been canceled for VEISHEA this year; next year’s is pending.
Before I get to the criticism of the people involved with this stupid and useless act of destruction giving not only Iowa State a bad name, but drinking in general a bad name, I’d like to explain how great VEISHEA was in previous years.
I attended VEISHEA four out of the past five years, and they were some of the best times of my life. The event is scheduled at the beginning of Midwest summer, which is April. People are finally psychically ready to stand outside for longer than 10-minute intervals and enjoy the exciting warm weather for the first time in six months. Mix that warm weather with a town-wide celebration and unlimited house parties, and it essentially make Ames, Iowa a giant communal yard party for a few days.
Now drinking is a huge part of VEISHEA and I’m sure it leads to a lot of problems, but every person I met at VEISHEA was super friendly and if they were destructive, it was to their own property. (When someone would say at VEISHEA, “We threw a kegger last night” it meant they literally threw a keg off their balcony.)
When I attended VEISHEA, I thought the cops did a pretty good job of trying to keep everyone safe, and as long as you weren’t destroying public property or endangering others, they let you party. One of my finer moments was when two cops turned their squad car around to calm down a yard party next door and I asked if someone had the Cops theme song on his iPod. The beat dropped right as they exited their car and they just politely smiled and said, “Alright guys very funny, just turn it down a little.”
That’s the spirit of VEISHEA. Very fun. Just turn it down a little if necessary. But the people last night didn’t turn it down, and now VEISHEA is canceled.
I should also stress that last night was a Tuesday night. Rioting on a Tuesday is like rioting on a Tuesday. I’ve never seen a light pole that I wanted to knock down. But for some reason some thought that would be a good idea last night, and now someone is in critical condition in the hospital and you’ve basically cancelled fun for thousands of people.
Good job to the people that rioted Tuesday night. These are the same people in elementary school that stuck their gum underneath the desk and got gum-chewing privileges taken away for everyone. The same people who go out to bars looking for a fight instead of looking for a good time. These will be the same adults that borrow your tools and never give them back. I believe they’re called assholes.
I always had an awesome and safe time at VEISHEA, and Ames and Iowa State is for the most part full of very nice and amazing people. A great judge of Iowa State’s character is that I got lost for a while when my phone died one year and an RA (I didn’t go to school there I just found a way to the dorms) took the time to walk with me over a mile back to where I was trying to stay. Thank you kind sir whoever you were, and thank you VEISHEA and Iowa State for some of the best times of my life.
And to those assholes… you’re assholes.