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ISU Alums React to VEISHEA Riots

AMES, IA -  (FOX28/CBS2 )  A wide range of reactions are coming from Iowa State University students and alumni after street riots marred the Veishea celebration again. 

Hundreds filled the streets near Campustown Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning as some turned over cars, pelted police with beer cans and then started pushing over light poles.  At least two people suffered injuries when they were hit by the falling street lights.  The violence forced the cancellation of all Veishea events through the weekend and puts the future of the spring celebration in doubt.

 Linn and Johnson County Alumni Association Club President Craig Adamson says he can still remember students ripping down stop signs and blocking the main street on Lincolnway when he attended ISU in the 90s.  He says its sad for the people who work so hard to put on the countrys largest student run celebration, but when people start getting hurt something has to change, If this student ends up dying, you know it would be a shame for the university to stop the celebration because of that, but at the same time maybe that is the appropriate response for president lee.  

The past could play a huge role in what happens next.  This is the fifth time riots left Veishea with a black eye.  This history of violence includes 1988, 1992, 1994, a murder in 1997, more riots in 2004 and then again early Wednesday morning.

Student Parker Derosier calls it the scariest thing hes ever seen. He arrived just in time to see the first light pole come crashing down on a teen, I heard that the kid was hit and everyone was saying this kid was dead and we went over to see if we could help and made a circle around him.  The police came by and five or ten minutes later he was on a stretcher.  As of Wednesday night that person was improving, but still hospitalized.

On our Facebook page many viewers left comments of sincere sadness after the cancellation of the event, knowing how hard hundreds of students work to make it a success.  Ben wrote, Some idiots unfortunately have ruined it for everyone.    But after all the trouble and all the warnings, Craig posts, This needs to be the end of it.  Nothing like Iowa making the national news for riots.

After an incredible show of pride and national attention for the Cyclone Mens Basketball team just two weeks ago at the NCAA Tournament, former ISU Student President Spencer Hughes, from Cedar Rapids, says he understands the outrage, To see all that work thrown away just because some people decided they wanted to act so irresponsibly on a Tuesday night is just incredibly disappointing.  Something like this happens and it catches on nationally and it gets media attention and all of a sudden this becomes the image of the university in some peoples minds and thats not who we are.  

Hughes says maybe its just the eternal optimist in him, but he believes the great people who really care about the event at ISU will prevail and they will find a way to continue the tradition of VEISHEA as a safe celebration.

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