Clean-up is still underway in Ames, where hundreds of people rampaged through the campustown area early Sunday, knocking down street lights, setting fires, breaking store windows and lopping off parking meters and looting the change. Iowa State University president Gregory Geoffroy says he’s “very saddened and disappointed” by the incident, which police call a riot. I-S-U spokesman John McCarroll says that kind of behavior is not what the VEISHEA celebration is supposed to be about.Ames police say 38 people were arrested, including I-S-U basketball player Jared Homan. Police tear-gassed the mob, sending 24 people to the hospital. University officials say the destructive riot may spell the end of VEISHEA. McCarroll says no decision has been made on whether VEISHEA will continue and a ruling won’t likely come anytime soon.With finals two weeks away, the decision will most likely not come until fall. McCarroll says the destruction and violence put a very unfortunate end on what had been a good weekend. He says the celebration Friday and Saturday was exceptional, and says it’s regretful and disappointing to have it marred by events early Sunday morning. VEISHEA has been an annual celebration at I-S-U for some 82 years, though a string of violence in the 1980s and ’90s nearly ended the tradition. Governor Tom Vilsack was asked about the VEISHEA trouble today by reporters in Des Moines.He says I-S-U President Geofroy is handling it properly by taking a look at it and reviewing if it’s something that should continue, and if so, what additional steps should be taken to make sure we don’t have the kind of “violent and unacceptable behavior” we had over the weekend.
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