Tag Archives: Veishea

VEISHEA: rabid tradition put to sleep

The administration of Iowa State University has declared VEISHEA dead. This is, or was, a spring festival, nearly a century old. “VEISHEA” is an acronym made from the departments* at ISU when the festival began. I believe the phrase “largest student-run festival in the US” has long been attached to VEISHEA, which was in theory both a celebration of pride in things Iowa State and a point of pride itself.

That theory has been getting more and more difficult to put into practice, though, for as long as I have been aware of the event.

I think this final, no-hiatus no-probation end to VEISHEA is probably a “straw that broke the camel’s back” situation, mostly. Rioting outbreaks stretch back even before I enrolled as a student, and so far as I can tell the 2014 episode was hardly the worst. The worst VEISHEA disaster was, in fact, by most measures my very first. At the risk of mangling a metaphor, VEISHEA 1997 was probably the iron crowbar the fractured the camel’s back, leaving it vulnerable to the weight of mere straw.

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