AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University President Steven Leath announced the VEISHEA celebration has ended and the name will be retired Thursday. It brings an end to the annual tradition started in 1922.
“I understand that it is very sad and disappointing to see this 92-year tradition come to an end, and there may be some who are upset with this decision, but I am not going to continue to put students at risk so that we can preserve what, to many, has become a week-long party,” Leath said.
“I want to make it very clear. This conduct is not tolerated here,” Leith added.
Calls for a task force were made after violence marred the 2014 celebration. Leath received the report, which recommended ending the celebration in its current form, last month.
Leath said the Campustown riots in April were the final straw for VEISHEA. Dozens of people were arrested after a mob of people damaged cars and public property.
Leath said the incident was part of a growing trend of violence at the celebration over the last 30 years. Since 1985, two people have been killed and hundreds of people have been arrested.
Leath added that he doesn’t believe the decision will affect recruitment or donations to the school.
Thursday’s announcement doesn’t mean the end of all celebrations at Iowa State. Leath said events celebrating the 100th anniversary of the theater program will go on as planned.
He also left the door open for the school creating other new celebrations in the future.