VEISHEA’s Future 2: Taking a Stance
From: Trevin Ward
Date: Thu, Apr 10, 2014 at 9:27 AM
Subject: VEISHEA’s Future
I do not envy your position in the least and I know I am far from likely to be the only individual emailing you today, or over the coming weeks and months on this matter. That being said, I felt it important to share my position and a little bit of my own personal VEISHEA story.
I’m the son of two Iowa State graduates; I once lived in University Village as a child back when it was only for married student families. My first VEISHEA experiences had nothing to do with riots or drinking (despite the fact the event was not dry at that point) and had everything to do with cherry pies, clown cars in the parade, and a hug from Cy. Bits and pieces of VEISHEA constitute some of my earliest childhood memories; they are fond ones of the tradition and of the University.
My first VEISHEA as an Iowa State student was in 2004. I learned of the riots that year the next morning. I lived in Richardson Court (right across the street from the Knoll, in Lyon Hall) and was fortunate to not have tear gas come in through my dorm room windows like members of my classes sleeping in Friley. I’ve lived in a world without VEISHEA for a year, thankfully it was only a year. I remember the April of 2005 feeling recognizably empty, despite efforts like “This is Your April.” Iowa State was not the same place that year, and it was not for the better.
In the years since, I’ve seen happy VEISHEAs from the perspective of a student, and as a non-Student, including 4 in my time working late nights serving food from street carts in the thick of it all and three now as a board member of the Campustown Action Association (which I am not speaking for today). That time included nights with a near riot the night of an Iowa Football game or two but few unfortunate events relating to VEISHEA. Those were some of the best VEISHEAs I remember, cementing VEISHEA as a time I can relish in nostalgia and experience how my University has grown. I obviously have an emotional connection to VEISHEA, but it’s one that shares space with my emotional connection to this University.
Which brings me to my point. There is an undeniable history of unfortunate events attached to VEISHEA but I can’t help but feel that the good far outweighs the bad. We’ve seen riots at university campuses and college towns for decades for all sorts of reasons, major political events (Bin Laden’s death comes to mind), successful sporting events, and unsuccessful ones. Arizona, Wisconsin, and Connecticut aren’t discussing canceling their basketball programs involvement in the NCAA tournament. If these unfortunate events are to occur in a world without VEISHEA what will we gain from it’s cancellation? Does it outweigh what we lose?
I don’t believe so.
Iowa State Student 2003-2008
Last night there were major disruptions in Ames’ Campustown as a result of large out of control crowds. I hesitate to call them riots because it doesn’t seem like people were angry… just totally out of control. Everything I’ve seen seems to resemble the night in Ames (and in many college communities) after Osama Bin Laden died. The crowds that night refrained from destroying property but were just loud and nearly as rowdy.At the same time across the country over the course of the NCAA tournament this year we saw multiple college towns rocked by riotous students not unlike the crowd and activities seen last night in Ames.
This all raises the question for me, is VEISHEA the problem or is it the current lot and/or circumstances of American college students? Recent events would seem to suggest that it’s potentially not VEISHEA, or at least not exclusively.
Thousands of visitors to Iowa State and Ames come every year and peacefully enjoy VEISHEA. Children establish early memories endearing them to Iowa State and a big red bird (I know I did) and become future students as a result of VEISHEA. Alumni return and take a walks down nostalgic halls potentially responding more kindly the next time the Foundation or Alumni Association call.
If canceling VEISHEA won’t stop students from rioting what does canceling VEISHEA achieve? There are legitimate costs to canceling VEISHEA that are immediate and apparent, not the least of which is losing a near century old tradition. Seems to me there is a far greater problem to solve here that isn’t going to be solved by canceling VEISHEA, at which point all we’ve done is prevented a 4 year old form getting a “cherry pie” and a hug from Cy.
Warning, super nerd joke follows.
- Me: oh good god
- Me: I remember why I switched from NetNewsWire
- Me: This thing is basically a c.2003 email client
- Me: I don't even see an option to hide unread posts
- Me: errr
- Me: show only feeds with unread posts
- P$: lol
- P$: I don't even know if there's much in the way of apps for *nix
- P$: I assume so
- P$: but I bet a bunch of 'em are shit
- Me: You probably can do it in emacs
- Me: HAHAHAHA
- P$: HAHAHA
Game, Set, Match.
4 Years ago I posted the following under the title Pride, Joy, Excitement, Love:
I’m absolutely exhausted right now. I spent 16 hours working at Ames Ward 4 Precinct 3 today. I helped register ~100 people, and gave ballots to probably another 90. I was the first person to vote this morning (being a poll worker has perks) and one of the last to leave. More than physical exhaustion I’m mentally exhausted. After months of reading fivethirtyeight.com, politico.com, and realclearpolitics.com I was in a near blackout when polls started closing around the country (thanks to Scott and Rachel for alleviating some of that). But it’s finally over, and America has just elected a new President.
To say that I am proud doesn’t do justice to the way that I feel. Joy, excitement, pride, and love are only a few words that I can use to attempt to describe the way that I feel about my country right now. I don’t necessarily mean the people (although they are surely part of it) but also the institutions that make up our state, the shared ideals that make us a nation, and the Constitution that defines our government. For the last eight years America has endured a President of the people that voted for him, and just those people; a President unversed in the patriotism of politics, and ignorant of pride of all people, not just those who swagger and tote a gun.
For the last eight years I’ve felt just as much anger for the people that wanted to move to Canada as those who would tell me disagreeing with my President was unpatriotic. I sincerely believe that this election would have been far more of a landslide had it not been for the divisive anti-politics of President Bush and this is just the first step in healing that wound. America has a gaping gash that must be healed, and it will take years for it to be completely whole again, but we’re on the right track to recovery.
There is no picture to accompany this post, I can’t think of one fitting enough.
Unlike four years ago I’m not tired and I feel a little bad for how little I did, and frankly, I feel a little cynical. 2012 is undoubtably a more sober year than 2008. I’m excited for the next four years of President Obama. I’ve said to a few people that the slow paced practical, but progressive mind of President Obama is probably the closest to my own thoughts that I’m likely to get in a President in my lifetime. I’m excited to see an Obama second term. I’m excited to see him make the pivot to take on the extremist right (that I think we’ve already seen starting in the debates), and I think that we’re likely to see a more agressive President Obama on other issues now that he doesn’t have to fear reelection.
Game. Set. Match.