In less than a month, I’ll turn that magical age where the legal world deems me responsible enough to handle my alcohol. Considering in the past that all my previous birthdays have been quiet affairs, I have designs on throwing a large birthday bash for myself.
While I hate large parties, I feel one is necessary. Anything else would be pathetic. I want it big, loud and a general annoyance to anyone within three blocks of me. My neighbors shall rue the day I was born.
The County Board of Supervisors, however, wants to throw cold water on my heated plans. On May 28, the Supes will vote on a Public Nuisance Ordinance, which will give Isla Vista Foot Patrol officers the ability to close down my party if it violates a number of guidelines, ranging from out-of-control guests to a keg in open view of the street.
At first glance, it’s a nasty proposal to ruin the one time in my life where I can indulge excessively before I turn 50, start losing my hair and buy a motorcycle in a fit of infantile rage and depression.
While the ordinance can put a damper on my celebration plans, it actually is a decent way of regulating the problems caused by parties gone bad.
There’s a breaking point for any gathering. Once the invitations reach roughly 40 to 50 people, a host loses all control over the actions of the crowd. When things start to get out of hand, there’s little a distraught host can do besides call the police or duck out in hopes that the house is still standing in the morning.
The majority of students arrested and cited in Isla Vista are either out-of-towners or high school students unversed in Isla Vista party etiquette. These kids come to parties, causing general headaches for hosts and paining the collective ass of I.V. The ordinance will help keep these uncivilized crashers from causing too much havoc by cracking down hard and early.
Any UCSB and SBCC students who can’t behave like humans instead of inebriated monkeys get what they deserve.
Instating the ordinance is a better way of dealing with student problems in I.V. than UCSB’s parental notification plan. If Junior writes his name in urine on DP or gets belligerent at a party, it’s an issue between the student and the county. The ordinance treats the students as adults – here are the rules; follow them.
One of the few things that students don’t understand is that a lot of problems with the IVFP are easily avoided. By walking yourself over to the IVFP office on Pardall Road and talking to them about what’s acceptable and what will get you busted, you can build a decent working relationship, which will probably work in your favor if they ever have to make a call to your place.
If you’re smart, chances are slim you might ever have a direct run-in with the fuzz.
There really are only two things that really stink about the ordinance.
There seems to be little community input about it. Since the ordinance specifically targets Isla Vista residents, the students should have a chance to voice their opinion on the matter.
Also, hosts of these parties shouldn’t be fined if a few morons get out of control. It’s a difficult task trying to control a horde of revelers; it’s even more difficult when they’re alley drunk on Natty Ice and Popov.
It would be nice if the county spent a little more time talking to students about the ordinance, and it would be nicer if students didn’t need any type of set regulations. So I guess I’ll have to settle for a smaller, neater birthday bash.
Daily Nexus assistant opinion editor Steven Ruszczycky realizes this column is a blatant plug for his own birthday. His column appears Tuesdays.