AMES, Iowa — It’s the nature of some college students to let loose once in a while, but Ames Police believe Iowa State students and other partiers are taking it too far during the university’s opening weekend.
“I would use the word embarrassing for some of the behaviors that we saw last year,” said Ames Police Chief Geoff Huff. “There were way too many people at large parties and a lot of people coming in from out of town that don’t care about Ames. That led us to believe we have to do something different.”
That new strategy is increasing fines for excessive partiers and towing illegally parked cars around Campustown during opening weekend. The $100 fine for a first-time nuisance party violation will instead be $650 during the weekend.
“We’re just trying to cut down a little bit on the negative behavior, which is really around drinking alcohol to excess,” Huff said. “We don’t want to see those behaviors at all and we don’t want to write that ticket, but if things do get to that point, that gives us another tool in our toolbox.”
Huff also said the raucous opening weekend celebrations compare to VEISHEA, the former Iowa State tradition cancelled after chaos in 2015.
“VEISHEA was another event that got out of hand when it became more about the partying than it was about the university,” Huff said. “The bad things started to overwhelm the good things over time. That’s what we’re seeing with this weekend, some of the behaviors are just really out of control.”
Iowa State’s opening weekend is August 19th through the 21st. The university has scheduled several family-friendly events to counterbalance the off-campus parties, such as a cookout by the campanile at 6 p.m. that Friday and an Iowa State football scrimmage inside Jack Trice Stadium at 10:30 a.m. that Saturday.