Amid the river of Halloween partygoers on Del Playa Drive on Sunday night, Chancellor Henry T. Yang and a handful of UCSB administrators surveyed Isla Vista’s largest party of the year.
Yang, with wife Dilling, shook hands and posed for dozens of pictures with students who yelled out greetings of recognition.
“Chancellor Yang, you rock my world!” yelled one mini-skirted woman.
Sticking mostly to the sidewalks to avoid the tightly packed crowds, the Yangs – who toured Del Playa on Friday and Saturday night as well – stopped to ask the years and majors of several students as they walked between 11 p.m. and midnight.
On Saturday night, the Yangs accepted invitations from students in houses to join them on their balconies to watch Del Playa from above.
The Yangs chatted with students regarding everything from their class loads to new Halloween safety measures.
“I think this party is bigger than expected,” Yang said. “I’m glad it seems to be a little safer tonight.”
Professor Walter Yuen, chair of the Santa Barbara divisional of the Academic Senate and chair of the I.V. Action Group, toured Isla Vista during Halloween for his first time last night.
“I’m a little bit shocked,” Yuen said. “I think even though people are out having a good time, the risks are so high. I’m just concerned for the safety of our students.”
Yuen toured Del Playa beginning at 11 p.m. with several administrators, including Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Michael Young and Dean of Students Yonnie Harris.
Harris said some of the costumes she saw were, “… clever, and some of them made me think some people were very cold.”
Despite the university’s efforts this year to decrease the number of outsiders entering Isla Vista for Halloween, Young said last night that people from out of town were still a problem.
“I’m still not happy with outsiders coming to our community to party and trash it and then leave,” Young said.
As the grouped walked back toward campus, a car stopped next to a police officer on the corner next to Woodstock’s Pizza. The driver rolled down his window and asked for directions to “main street” – unaware that such a street does not exist in Isla Vista.
“You see, that drives me crazy,” Young said.
Harris said she has been encouraged by recent media reports regarding UCSB’s academic achievements – such as its recent Nobel Prize laureates – as opposed to negative coverage regarding Isla Vista’s notoriously rowdy Halloween.
“You have two images that are antagonistic,” Harris said. “As students get out into the world, they are not going to want to hear, ‘You got your degree from that party school.'”
Caroline Buford, associate dean of students, also walked with the group as they passed the field booking area set up by the Isla Vista Foot Patrol to handle the several hundred arrests this weekend.
“The booking area always makes me sad,” Buford said. “It’s a consequence of their [the students’] choices.”