This weekend, Gauchos and the UCSB community will witness thousands of out-of-towners flood the streets of Isla Vista in its highly-anticipated and heavily- policed celebration of Halloween.
Groups within Associated Students and the Office of Student Life are working with local officials from the Santa Barbara County Sherriff’s Office, Isla Vista Foot Patrol, UCSB Transportation and Parking Services and other authorities to ensure the safety of Isla Vista residents and UCSB students in preparation for the celebrations, which will draw an estimated 30,000 attendees this year. Residences including UCSB Residential Services and other dormitory housing structures like Tropicana Del Norte are implementing policies meant to deter non-local visitors.
Furthermore, both local officials and student groups have expressed growing concerns regarding the incoming population of ‘out-of-towners,’ as these individuals have historically received the majority of legal citations.
Third-year psychology major Alissa Vandenbelt said while most universities have their own acclaimed events, like big rivalry football games, UCSB has Halloween as its coveted attraction.
“Obviously it’s a special event, and a very ‘Santa Barbara’ thing,” Vandenbelt said.
However, student officials within A.S. are striving to keep the event local and keep open communication with students regarding such concerns. External Vice President of Local Affairs Rhandy Siordia explained that while it can be difficult to enforce these recommendations, students and authorities need to work toward the common goal of a safe community.
“‘Keep it Local’ means we should keep Halloween an event for I.V. residents to participate in and enjoy because we are the ones that can be trusted to respect our community and our peers,” Siordia said in an email. “And that unfortunately, history tells us that we can’t expect that same level of respect from out-of-towners.”
Siordia said students must be informed about critical information like how to purchase parking permits, the locations and times of road closures and the legal consequences of receiving citations such as Minor in Possession or Intoxicated in Public. According to an email from the EVPLA office, Isla Vista’s North/South streets such as Camino Pescadero and Camino del Sur will be closed south of Trigo Road after 3 p.m. this Friday.
According to Siordia, the Office of Student Life emailed several other college campuses in California reminding them that the OSL would like to keep Halloween in I.V. a safe and local event.
A.S. will be setting up a ‘Hydration Station’ near The Loop apartments, which will include portable restrooms, water tanks, tables and chairs, as well as packaged snacks to help replenish party-goers.
Since Halloween lands on a Wednesday this year, some I.V. residents and visitors are planning strategically for both a first and second weekend of celebrations, depending on which weekend will provide a better ‘partying’ atmosphere.
“My friend is specifically coming because she thinks that the second week- end’s going to be less crazy,” fourth-year environmental studies major Jenny Hart said. “Hopefully everybody comes for the first weekend, gets it out of their system, and then it’s just Isla Vista people for the second weekend.”
According to SBCC business major Mark Bial, who lives on Del Playa Drive, All Hallows’ Eve in Isla Vista benefits from the influx of visitors since the crowds provide a lively, celebratory atmosphere.
“Personally, I haven’t experienced a bad [Halloween],” Bial said. “People- watching on Halloween was the best part about last year because you see some ridiculous costumes … It’s going to be a positive [and] I plan on having a fat party here.”
EVPLA events coordinator Casey Hebebrand said Isla Vista residents should advise visitors to respect community rules and legal regulations.
“We encourage students to tell their friends, if they are visiting, to kind of ‘lay down the law’,” Hebebrand said. “[Like] what [people told] you your freshman year: to not make yourself look stupid.”
For more information on campus parking during Halloween, visit http://tps. ucsb.edu/permhallow.aspx.