Wednesday, April 9, 2014

VEISHEA Riots

For those of you who don't know, VEISHEA is a tradition at Iowa State dating back to the days when the first colleges were formed (Veterinary medicine, Engineering, Industrial Science, Home Economics, Agriculture). It is a celebration of Iowa State. It is a celebration of education and community, two things that the rioters on Tuesday have absolutely no concept of.

IF YOU WERE IN THE CROWD DURING THE RIOTS, YOU SHOULD BE EMBARRASSED AND ASHAMED OF YOURSELF.

Here's why:

1) By simply being present in the mob, you gave the idiots in the crowd power. The riot mentality only exists when there are people behind them to give them anonymity and shelter from the rightful response of police. 15 idiots throwing beer bottles at cops and at the Farm House (seriously? what did these guys do to deserve getting pelted by stuff AT HOME) is completely different than 1,000. The more people leave the scene, the less power these idiots have.

2) Someone is in the hospital because a light post fell down on them, and we don't know their condition other than reports that he was unconscious upon the medics getting there. Again, by not leaving the area, you (as an individual and a collective) give drunk idiots the gumption to climb on light posts and flip cars. It is a celebration, so have fun, but don't be an asshole. That blood is on your hands.

3) An ambulance came to try and (potentially) save someone's life and PEOPLE DIDN'T MOVE!!! ARE YOU SERIOUS!? Under NO circumstances is this OK, or even defensible! It's not funny, clever, or cute. If there were no riots and nothing falling from the sky, an ambulance passing on Welch Ave is likely on its way to save someone's life, let alone when you have giant metal structures coming down into a crowd. The people who were responsible for this are the most detestable of the group, in my opinion.

4) It. Is. A. Tuesday. I am still a student at Iowa State and have been since I was 18. I get the fact that it is VEISHEA, which is a celebration. I have had a good time during VEISHEA, but never, ever have I understood getting black-out drunk on a Tuesday night. Actually, scratch that. The people responsible for this probably aren't going to class here at Iowa State on Wednesday (or any day for that matter) because they don't have anything to do with Iowa State, and are just here to get drunk and act like idiots. Or they're students who are going to get D's because they refuse to go to class, and like, have no idea why they're doing so bad in Soc 134, bro.

5) This is the ultimate dad cliche, but VEISHEA isn't a right, it's a privilege. After BS like this happened in 2004, the university cancelled the event the following year. So, congratulations. I hope that this Tuesday was fun for you. Your actions might have cancelled the event for next year. This is a fun time that people work hard to organize, because it is a celebration of the place that I (and everyone associated with it) love. It deserves better than this.

If you were out and left, good job. You wanted to have a good time, but know that you don't need to be an idiot to do that. If you went out and DID participate in the mob and were offended by anything I've written, take this time to grab a bottle of windex, set it on sniper mode, and shoot yourself in the eyes. Defending the actions of this crowd is horrendous.

I read a tweet that said, "It was a bad representation of Ames, but don't act like you didn't have fun out there in the streets." This is also the wrong attitude. Simply by being there, you gave power to stupid people doing stupid things. And because of that, you are just as responsible. The proper response is genuine contrition, knowing full-well how far that went was wrong.

To the people who look up at this and are ashamed of Iowa State, we deserve that. But please don't look down on all of us, since this is a very, very select minority of ISU students (aka the ones who will get plastered on a Tuesday). A lot of this was likely done by people not associated whatsoever with the university, since many people come to Ames for the sole purpose of getting messed up, although there were some of our own idiots in there. Regardless, the majority of us Cyclones are in bed, at home, or left whatever place we were at to get home.

One last thought; don't do this again or "try to top it," VEISHEA-ers. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights all still await us, and if there are people who try and replicate or top this madness, more people will likely end up in the hospital or worse. Please be responsible. Know that you are a representation of ISU, your family, and your state. Have your fun, but go home when you're done and don't hurt or destroy anything or anyone.

43 comments:

  1. Pretty much the correct way to look at all of this. Good thoughts woody.

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  2. You go Jeff...This is not how we celebrated from 2006-2010.

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  3. It's past time for ISU students to accept responsibility. No more of this "They probably weren't even students" bullshit. It was a Tuesday, not that many out-of-towners around for that.

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    1. Ames has grown by leaps and bounds in the twenty years I've lived here, one does not have to be an out-of-towner anymore in order to NOT be affliated with the university.

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  4. Well said,Jeff. Thank you for being an ambassador.

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  5. Very well said Jeff. VEISHA has been cancelled before- and I don't see these idiots doing much in the way of guaranteeing it will happen again next year.....

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  6. Well stated Jeff, thanks for your comments and your leadership!

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  7. Too bad these students (and the college dropouts they let sleep on their couches that week) fundamentally don't care about ISU or VEISHEA for that matter.

    In fact if ISU cancels VEISHEA they'll probably make sure their twisted version lives.

    And that's sad.

    I also refuse to take responsibility for students who don't respect the university, aside from helping the university as much as I can working to discover and punish (preferably expel) these students. Hope those who left the mob do.

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  8. Well said Jeff! Thanks for showing great character.

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  9. I don't go to Iowa State but I have many friends in Ames who I sincereky hope were not involved in this. But many thanks to you.... hopefully this will open some eyes out there and make them realize they are out of control.

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  10. Jeff that should be front page of the daily and the Des Moines Register.

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  11. The kid that the pole hit was obviously one of those people rioting so he was part of the problem!

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    1. So, you were there and saw exactly what happened? Hmmmm.....

      Does it really matter at this point? Someone nearly DIED.

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  12. Its new college kids are from a different generation. A generation I tend to exclude myself from. Itsa damn shame things are going down like this... Not only is it gonna be possible that Veishea will not take place anymore, but people are also getting harmed. I pray for fast recovery to those who get injured!

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  13. Jeff - thank you for stating so well what needed to be said. It's people like you, and the rest of the 99% of class people associated with Iowa State, that make me proud to be a Cyclone.

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  14. While I agree with everything you've said, this seems extremely hypocritical coming from a football player. Football games are a prime cause of drunken debauchery and troublemaking on a regular basis. To me, football culture and the "riot on welch ave" veishea culture are one and the same. I'll give you that I've never seen an ISU football game cause trouble this severe, but the basic behavior is identical.

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    1. Rioting and mayhem have nothing to do with "football culture." I am a huge football fan and I have never been part of any drunken debauchery and troublemaking. It isn't VEISHEA or football that are the problems. It is the people who think it is okay to be debauched. These problems go much deeper than mere sports and festivals.

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    2. Ark, with that mentality YOU are part of the problem.

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    3. Maybe you should go to a football game before you make that assumption. Yes there is tailgating and people having a good time, but it is about everyone coming together to support their team. Not anywhere close to the ridiculous nonsense that happened on Tues. I am still proud to be an alum, but saddened that people who witnessed everything this week could not see the VEISHEA that I experienced from 86-90.

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  15. I agree with your comments and it was beautifully written. I have a nephew that lives on campus and attends ISU so I worry when there's an incident. I hope they still have the parade on Saturday as we planned to go.

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  16. Well said. Sounds like they need to grow up and respect people and property.

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  17. If you are going to make the people who did this accountable stop claiming that these fools that rioted weren't Iowa State Students. It was on a Tuesday. It was your students. You're calling them idiots yet protecting them at the same time. Stop being a hypocrite.

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  18. Jeff, As Leach said, "this one is on us." We can't blame the non students or the out of towners for this one. "This was a Tuesday night people"

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  19. I can't help but notice that this post is time stamped 2:12am, which is odd, considering you claim that the vast majority of the "real" ISU community was comfortably in bed at this time.

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    1. In a cost-saving measure, I decided to sell my car when I married my wife. Since we share one car, I was just waking up to drop her off for her 3AM shift as a nurse at the very hospital where those injured in the riots were taken.

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    2. Heads up Billy, you just got royally served.

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  20. Very well thought out response Woody, you are a great representative for Iowa State!

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  21. Jeff--well said. Please continue to represent Iowa State long into the future.

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  22. Beautifully written. As an alum I could not believe what I read had happened, sure we all have partied during VEISHEA, but I also remember going to the parade, eating on Campus, and participating in the school organized events. All I have to add is I hope those students whom invited their 20 some deadbeat friends from back home think long and hard about how much these kids are actually there to "celebrate" the college. If your friend goes to another college they probably aren't coming to Ames to show their ISU pride. We all have drank a little to hard over VEISHEA but NEVER did we condone STUPID BEHAVIOR. Was watching people trash YOUR TOWN worth the "fun" you all had Tuesday night.

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  23. It tears me up to see anybody attempting to injure police officers. What they have to witness on nearly a daily basis; a police officer has to visit the site of each "death by natural causes", domestic violence, children growing up in violent homes, and disorderly drunks and drug addicts. Add to this how many lives they've saved, both by their acts of valor during accident scenes, as well as speaking to juveniles and mentoring them to a better life. Typically a police officer will also have a military background - they served our country. They're Americans. If the rioting continues, I hope the police bring the heat!

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    1. I like you, you can fuck my sister.

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  24. "To the people who look up at this and are ashamed of Iowa State, we deserve that. But please don't look down on all of us, since this is a very, very select minority of ISU students (aka the ones who will get plastered on a Tuesday). A lot of this was likely done by people not associated whatsoever with the university, since many people come to Ames for the sole purpose of getting messed up, although there were some of our own idiots in there. Regardless, the majority of us Cyclones are in bed, at home, or left whatever place we were at to get home."

    Jeff this your ideas were well thought out and you were able to put them into words in a way that was very easy to follow. However, I do have one question though, are naive enough to actually believe that your second to last paragraph is true? If so you need to pull your head out of the sand.

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    1. I agree with him the majority of stupidity is caused by out of towners. I am a recent ISU grad and Ames population triples VEISHEA week. The majority of the problems come from kids who just come to Ames. Some of them know noone in Ames they just come to party and plan on crashing in their cars. I met a few people whom came as a friend of the friend of the ISU student.

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  25. Very well said! Thank you for being a positive leader and voice for the majority of students and citizens of Ames!

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  26. I lived in Ames for 10 years. I was living there the first time the riots happened. Jeff I applaud your outlook on this. Shame on those that started this. Don't be surprised if it gets cancelled for good this time people. Its a shame to see it go to this kind of crap again. I really don't want to know what kind of idiocy is gonna happen this weekend. Maybe the students will stop it before it gets out of hand, we can hope the good ones will step up and try to stop the morons, so that the violence doesn't happen again.

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  27. To all those commenting about how many were from out of town:

    I don't have any idea what fraction of the rioters were from Ames, but I know that a lot of people come here even on weekdays. Some crash here all week long. Tuesday probably had a higher portion of ISU students than Friday would have, but it doesn't mean we were the majority. Of course, we could have been. Who knows?

    Regardless of the nature of the crowd, the city and college are responsible for preventing this sort of chaos, even when it means cancelling Veishea. The student body as a whole could also be held partially responsible for not condemning this behavior enough and hosting 'friends' who would act this way.

    However, Jeff is right in saying that most of us students would not participate in a riot like that. Most of us were asleep at the time as, unlike the out-of-towners and deadbeat natives who likely comprised thr bulk of the crowd, we still had class in the morning. Most of us were apalled by the riot.

    Jeff is not a hypocrite for pointing this out and is not protecting anyone in doing so. Instead, he hints at a bigger problem: How do we prevent the minority of students (plus visitors) from doing this again without ruining the cellebration for everyone?

    We are taking responsability for this. The college has, of course, cancelled the remainder of Veishea. Leach has said that if Veishea continues in the future, it will be restructured somehow to prevent future riots. This is not being taken lightly.

    Thanks for the thoughts, Jeff! I just hope that the cancelling wasn't too late for this weekend. Stay safe, everybody.

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  28. Jeff - very nice article. Thanks for posting this. If I may ... I grew up in Ames. I'm an ISU Alum. Until I moved to Minneapolis in 1983, I had attended every VEISHEA since 1960. I'd just like to add to this discourse by saying "celebration" is being used far too loosely. And I'd like to clear that up for those who don't understand. VEISHEA used to be about three days of open house. Students showing what they had accomplished this long year before buckling down to dead week and then finals. It was an opportunity for the diversity of the school to come together as a community and serve a greater good to Ames and Iowa. It was a celebration of accomplishment and an attraction that fostered the great traditions of Iowa State University. I am greatly saddened when these principals are abused. Thank you again for your insights. Many more need to join this discussion and do what they can to contribute to the greatness know as Iowa State.

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    1. Well said, Mr. Dekovic. I am a 1974 ISU graduate and a proud alum. Veisha was the heart and soul of the school during my time there (long, long ago) and outshined Homecoming. As a 'older' person surveying the situation, it a sad and distressing situation today. So many punished for actions of a few. But I understand the decision. I have quite a discussion going on my FB page if anyone is interested in viewing. And Mr. Woody, THANK YOU SO MUCH for expressing your thoughts. You are a highly respected alum who has done and said much to shine a brilliant light on ISU. Those of us who stand up and speak out should never regret it and work toward improving the tarnished image of CycloneNation.

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  29. Quit blaming out of town people or you will never solve the problems

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  30. It's too bad to see an ISU student athlete involved in the arrests. It's really too bad Woody had graduated, then maybe they could leave Irving on the team atleast for awhile and allow Jeff to handle the discipline for his involvement... For some reason I think it would be a punishment fitting of the crime.

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  31. Thanks for being a positive role model in the community!

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