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In response to Rich Paulsen’s opinion on VEISHEA

Published: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 11:13 a.m. CDT

From Cory Bailey

Omaha, Neb.

In response to Rich Paulsen’s opinion on VEISHEA, I’d like to clarify what the event truly stands for.

VEISHEA stands for the original colleges of Iowa State University at its inception in 1922. Since it has started, the celebration holds a very dear place in the heart of many Iowa State alums, myself included. I served on the VEISHEA Executive Board for three years, as general co-chair of the event in 2003. VEISHEA taught us how to give back to our communities, how to enrich the lives of others and how to leave a lasting impact of progress. Since its inception VEISHEA has given thousands in scholarships, service and promotion of Iowa State University. The students involved in VEISHEA now lead Fortune 500 companies, communities and organizations throughout the United States.

It’s no secret that our cherished event has been linked to disturbances being out of hand. Rich is correct, there are people in the hospital and cars were turned over – that I cannot dispute. But to blindly say “this should just about end the festival” is an obvious testament that my hometown media doesn’t understand this event. The events of this week and past disturbances on Welch Avenue in Ames IS NOT what VEISHEA is about, it IS NOT what Iowa State is about. The events are an unfortunate sideshow that has taken center stage and marred the great event. The events must be addressed and I have full confidence Iowa State, under President Leath will make the right decision. Safety, security and reputation are all a part of the decision. I fully admit one outcome may be to permanently end the event. But over the course of a 92 year tradition at Iowa State let’s not base our opinion of the event on the recent headlines.

I’ve also been in Ames when goal posts are destroyed, and cars were turned over after making the Sweet 16. Just this week there was rioting at UConn after their national championship win. But we don’t scream for football or basketball to be discontinued because they led to these uncontrollable events – heck, we barely even acknowledge them over the news of the actual accomplishment. Should we discontinue March Madness?! Of course not. Please don’t treat VEISHEA any differently.

Rich, if you or the upcoming voters in your online poll need to be reminded of what VEISHEA really is, read the profile article that Larry Peterson wrote in 2003 when I was leading the event – that is VEISHEA.

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