Hey, what a surprise, another Santa Barbara tradition is going down the toilet: Floatopia. We lost Halloween to the cops and out-of-towners; it seems terrifying to even try to leave your house that week. And now it looks like we are going to lose Floatopia to the Santa Barbara county. Pity. But here are the facts: We destroy the beach, invite way too many people from out of town, get hammered and have the GREATEST FUCKING TIME OF OUR LIVES.
Last year’s “Floatopia,” if I can even call it that, was a bust. But I learned something very important I would like to share with all of you UCSB students. I talked to someone who enjoyed Floatopia as much as I used to: a police officer. Yes, a cop. I was as shocked as you are now.
“The reason Floatopia was not a go this year was because you were unable to get a permit from the county,” the officer said to me. “They are trying to play hardball with you students, and shut down the event forever. They are trying to control [students] and what you wish to do.”
The next thing he said to me is what I wish to pass on to all of you students.
“If you want to have Floatopia, your [A.S. Program Board] needs to talk to the county of Santa Barbara and say this: We are going to have Floatopia on the first week of April, or every weekend of April and May if we have to. You choose,” he said. The police officer went on to explain if we can annually get the permit for one day a year (not two or more) we will be able to have the event. But, if the county officials keep playing hardball with us students, like they did last year, we will have Floatopia every weekend until they give in. And I’ll tell you the reason why: MONEY.
The county cannot afford to pay police officers and coast guards for overtime on this event multiple times a year. It is way too expensive. That being said, if the A.S. Program Board threatens this, we can have our Floatopia. If the county still refuses, we rally the troops, as they say. If they don’t give in, we will have Floatopia (or last year’s Streetopia equivalent) for a full month, even two if we have to. What else are we doing on Saturdays, drinking at home? This will stretch the county budget thin and they will give in, unable to afford the cost of keeping up with us. It is very simple, and I doubt many people would object to doing what Santa Barbara students do best: party.