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VEISHEA Celebration at Iowa State Canceled

Amy Mayer/IPR
Iowa State University President Steven Leath has canceled the rest of the VEISHEA celebration for this year.

Raucous behavior in the Campustown neighborhood just off the Iowa State University campus in Ames early Wednesday left one student hospitalized. And it led to the cancelation of an annual spring tradition.

Ames police estimate about 1000 people congregated in the streets, where sign posts were toppled and cars were flipped. ISU President Steven Leath expressed disappointment and sadness at an afternoon press conference, which many students also attended. Leath said it’s early in the week of the annual VEISHEA celebration and he had to take decisive action to protect safety.

"It’s with mixed feelings and a heavy heart that I decided to suspend the remainder of this Veishea starting at 5:00 tonight, Leath said. "So it’s done."

Leath plans to convene a task force to assess the value of the 92-year tradition of VEISHEA.

"But also the very real black eye that results from a history of ugly incidents surrounding the otherwise wonderful events," he said.

Leath says he expects a decision by the end of this school year. Riots in 2004 led to a cancelation of the 2005 Veishea and in 2012 one man died. 

Amy Mayer is a reporter based in Ames