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1990s

Decade team: Nicole Bordelon, Ben Bramsen, Alison Dreeszen, Kelly Ferneding, Ashley Lamb, Courtney Stull and Erin O'Gara (captain).

Although the excesses of Veishea in the 1990s rivaled the 2004 riot that caused the celebration to be suspended for a year, Magic Johnson, the Los Angeles Laker star, contracting AIDS was the biggest story of the year. The Johnson story caused an outburst of discussion not only on the Iowa State campus but also in the country as a whole. Through constant dialogue about how HIV is contracted and how to protect against it, the AIDS epidemic permanently changed the country's views of the disease in 1992.

Some of the events that happened in 1993-1994 that were mentioned in the newspaper included: the floods of 1993, a new top for the Campanile, the Clinton administration, ISU basketball, abortion and death penalty issues, campus diversity, Bosnia conflict, WACO stand-off, WTC bombing, and the Veishea 1994 riot. The newspaper contained so many advertisements that only a few stories would be on each page. Thus, the paper continued to grow financially.

One of the first frequently occurring stories of the year was that of several football players – and one female basketball player – who had been charged with check forgery.  The reported stolen checks had been taken from Larch and Elm halls. Other big issues of this year were coverage of the O.J. Simpson trial and domestic abuse accusations against Cyclone football coach Dan McCarney. In 1995-96, the Simpson trial was covered extensively, but there was relatively little news about the Oklahoma City bombing. It is interesting that an event of this significance to the United States was relatively ignored even under the leadership of editor in chief Troy McCullough.

The most significant story to happen to the paper in the mid-1990s was the lawsuit filed against the Iowa State Daily by Partnership Press, Inc., the owner of the Ames Daily Tribune. Until this lawsuit, it was virtually unheard of for a student-run paper to be sued by a corporately run media company. The Tribune won the lawsuit, and The Daily had to stop circulating for free around town. Instead, the student paper had to be distributed for free only on campus.

The major event in the 1996-97 school years was the controversy over the renaming of the Botany Hall to Catt Hall. Carrie Chapman Catt had fought for women’s suffrage, but she was accused of making racist remarks in order to influence Southern politicians. The September 29th Movement, led by Milton McGriff, Meron Wondwosen and Allan Nosworthy, opposed naming the building after Catt. Yet it failed to persuade the administrators and the hall was not renamed. However, the  September 29th Movement, using sit-ins, hunger strikes and rallies on Central Campus, raised the public dialogue on racism. The Daily ran a series of spirited editorials, op-ed columns and letters to the editor. The U.S. Justice Department briefly intervened to mediate the discussions between the administration and the Movement. In 1998-1999, editor Tara Deering, one of 19 female editors for the Daily, became the first African-American woman to serve in this capacity. 

There were many changes that took place at Iowa State during the 1990s that were covered by the Daily. Iowa State expanded and evolved by the construction of Lied Recreation Center, the addition of eight international exchange and developmental programs, the dedication of Durham Center, and renaming of Cyclone Stadium in memory of Jack Trice, Iowa State’s first black student-athlete. ISU Security was renamed to the ISU Department of Public Safety and the athletic department included men’s volleyball, baseball and tennis teams, all eventual victims of Title IX.  A new no-hazing law was introduced and containers and bottles were no longer allowed in Cyclone Stadium.

Coverage of national and international news was relatively minimal and was presented in brief, encapsulated form. Most often wire stories appeared on pages set aside for international news. Retired journalism professor Giles Fowler explained that TheDaily did not do much with international news. What reporters would do is develop local sidebars to AP stories, where there was special Iowa or Iowa State interest. For instance, when several Asian nations were hit by severe economic setbacks, forcing some Asian students to drop out of college and return home, TheDaily published a sidebar about ISU students who were facing that predicament. At another time, as Britain was pulling out of Hong Kong and transferring it to the People’s Republic of China, TheDaily interviewed some ISU students from Hong Kong who were profoundly worried about the impact on their families when the Communists took over.

During the 1997 Veishea, Harold Sellers was fatally stabbed at Adelante fraternity house. After that, ISU President Martin Jischke declared that Veishea must be alcohol-free. Students reacted negatively to Jischke’s decree, but the president did not give in. The majority of student organizations decided to support Jischke rather than lose the celebration permanently.

The 1998-1999 school year was filled with local, national and international violence and controversy. TheDaily staff, led by editor Tara Deering and under the guidance of faculty adviser Tom Emmerson, focused primarily on local news or local reaction to national and international stories. The major national story of the year was President Clinton’s impeachment trial. Local news focused on the battle over Jischke’s dry Veishea policy.

 

 

           

 

     

 

   
 
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