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What the Hell Happened at Iowa State University Last Night?

By 04.09.14


College riots in 2014 are a funny thing: They’re either endearing and innocuous school-wide celebration of a major sports victory (i.e.: UConn, the University of Dayton, etc) or they’re something far more sinister, bringing out a dark, lurking evil that comes with the college mob mentality. Last night, at Iowa State University, unfortunately the latter was in full effect for the annual VEISHEA celebration in Ames. Hundreds — if not thousands — of students hit the streets, with a bunch of bad apples in the crowd tipping over vehicles, uprooting stop signs and light poles, and blocked streets for over an hour. Students threw objects at the police officers trying to get the mob in control. There were injuries, including one student who was struck in the head from a light pole as it was being torn down. The Ames police commander said he “didn’t look very good” when emergency crews took him to a hospital.

The destruction of property is an embarrassing look for the school, its students, and its alumni. Independent of the partying, VEISHEA is the largest student run festival in the nation which brings campus organizations together for a week of fundraisers and showcases for various charity groups. It’s a college tradition Iowa State should be proud of, but unfortunately it’s received a bad reputation from the rioting and mayhem over the years.

I reached out to Tyler Kingkade, senior editor of Huffington Post College and Iowa State alumn, for a little context on VEISHEA. He explains:

“Everyone in Iowa knows about VEISHEA’s history, and that the 2004 riots led to the school canceling VEISHEA in its entirety in 2005. Given that, and the fact that ISU is a fairly timid school compared to many big party schools, it’s surprising this would happen on a Tuesday night. My Facebook is currently full of alumni expressing embarrassment. And as someone who did more than his fair share of partying while at ISU, I’m embarrassed too. Everyone went out partying for a week straight during each VEISHEA and never had a reason to start tearing down property.

What happened Tuesday night at Iowa State will likely lead to the university canceling what is otherwise the best week of the year, something virtually every college student in the state looks forward too.”

That’s a damn shame. Below is the sad destruction that happened in Iowa last night. It’s a damn shame not every college riot can be a “good” college riot, like the celebrations we’ve seen this spring.

Alum are upset, too, embarassed by how their school’s loveable, trademark party week has been destroyed by a bunch of bad apples.

Brandon Wenerd
About Brandon Wenerd... Brandon Wenerd is BroBible's senior editor, guru of @brotips, and director of strategic partnerships. He joined BroBible in the fall of 2009 after graduating from Penn State. When he’s not writing, Brandon enjoys fishing, Phish, Philly sports, Dewey Beach, supporting live music, hot sauce, and beer. E-mail him with post ideas and news tips: brandon@brobible.com.
TAGScollege riotsiowa state university

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