Iowa State University


Statement from Martin Jischke
President, Iowa State University

As a result of the tragedy that occurred early Sunday morning in the Campustown area--a tragedy that resulted in the death of one of the visitors to Ames during our Veishea celebration--I felt it was important to make a statement about this incident.

First, we extend our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Uri Sellers, the young man who died in this tragic incident. This kind of senseless violence has no place in our community or our society and we vow to do all we can to see that it doesn't happen again.

The incident is under investigation by the Ames Police Department and other law enforcement agencies, including the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and we are cooperating in that investigation in every way we can.

Because this crime is under active investigation, it would be inappropriate for me to comment about the details of the incident. However, I do want to encourage anyone with any information about this incident to please contact the Ames Police. We want to bring those responsible to justice.

Second, I want to make a statement about Veishea.

Through Friday and Saturday, this was one of the most successful Veisheas in its 75-year history. It was very well organized, well managed, and every aspect of it appeared to come off very well. The students who organized Veishea, and especially co-chairs Dan Faidley and Stephanie Carney- Michaels--are to be commended for their considerable efforts and excellent work. The incident early Sunday morning was tragic. Indeed, it was heartbreaking.

The loss of life--particularly a young life--is the worst possible thing that can happen--and all of us associated with Iowa State--especially the students--feel this loss. Again, we extend our deepest sympathy to Uri Sellers' family and friends, many of whom are members of this university community.

In light of this awful tragedy, I have instructed Interim Vice President Dan Robinson to accelerate the review of Veishea that we conduct each year after Veishea is concluded. I have asked that the review pay particular attention to this incident and the results of the criminal investigation to determine whether they suggest any changes for Veishea. While we are prepared to make changes in Veishea and to improve it, we are reserving judgment at this time pending the outcome of the review and the criminal investigation. I know that many hope that this senseless act of violence will not cause the end of an activity and a tradition that has done so much good for so many people. We need to learn more before we come to any conclusions.

For now, our first priorities are to extend our condolences to the family and friends of Uri Sellers, and to assist with the investigation.


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Diana Pounds, University Relations,
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Revised 4/21/97