This Winter Quarter was rough for all of us here at UCSB — for some more than others, of course, but for all of us nonetheless. Luckily, thankfully and mercifully, winter is gone and spring now reigns. That’s part of the beauty of being on a quarter system: Every three months, we get to have a fresh start. But as always, it’s on us, the students, to decide what making a “fresh start” will entail this Spring Quarter.
With this fresh start, let’s make sure we keep the light shining on the incredible things that happen every day at UCSB. Last quarter, the unfortunate actions of a few greatly overshadowed those of the rest of us, namely the students and staff doing groundbreaking, award-winning work on our campus every day. No; instead, the spotlight stayed focused almost exclusively on the negative goings-on in Isla Vista because we let it get to the point where that was necessary. Let’s take this fresh start as a chance to remake the I.V./UCSB community into an environment where people feel safe and watched after, enough so that they still feel free to party their brains out. Is this possible? Absolutely. It’s as easy as one individual taking responsibility for hir actions and those of hir friends.
We cannot deny that people come to I.V. from all over the place to “fuck shit up.” That’s just a fact. The problem is that we, the residents, are left to clean up the mess and deal with the consequences — eventually someone has to be responsible for what happens here. So remember that it’s one thing to show some friends a good time around I.V., but it’s an entirely different one to bring them here and then let them wander from door to door, hoping to find something to do. Because everyone will eventually find a way to entertain themselves, and let’s face it … that’s not always a good thing.
Deltopia is this weekend, and we all know that means thousands upon thousands of visitors and friends will be flocking to I.V. The flood of out-of-towners is inevitable and it’s also part of what makes the event so much fun. But we cannot simply forget last year’s Deltopia, when one young woman had her life cut short. If for no reason other than out of sheer respect to her memory, take responsibility for your friends. Most of the residents here know how to have a great time and stay safe while doing it, so it’s on us to make sure all of the “shoobies” learn very quickly what that means for them. It means no jumping on cars, crowding balconies or smashing anything (people included). It means realizing that people actually live and work in I.V. — it’s not Drunkneyland.
Let’s take this quarter as an opportunity to show the world that the people at UCSB and in I.V. live for the good times, work for the better times and stand strong against the bad times. There are a select few that will try to jeopardize this reputation and will steal the spotlight from our incredible community with their violence, ignorance and stupidity. But this spring, let’s remember that it’s our responsibility to overshadow their misguidedness and demonstrate that it will not be tolerated. This is our house and we love it, so don’t let anyone try to fuck with it.
Now get outside, get some sun and crack a beer (if that’s what you’re into) because it’s spring! Lucky us, eh?
Emile Nelson is the Opinion Co-Editor.