Newbies: Welcome to UCSB. Whether you’re a barely legal freshman, a transfer from Madison, Wis. or an international exchange student, we Gauchos welcome you. I.V. and Goleta may not look as pretty as SB, but don’t despair – they’re gonna make it up to you.
I wanted to get away from my third-year duties for a minute to give you guys the rundown of how some things are going to work during your permanence in the 805, and then end up with a few suggestions.
Point 1: Bike Paths. I acknowledge the fact that for most of you, riding a complicated vehicle with two wheels on a daily basis has not been part of the routine in the past. But as you may have noticed, bikes are pretty big around here, and bike paths are seldom empty enough for you to freely stroll on. For this reason, you have probably found out for yourself that you cannot just ride into the lane because you feel ready to go home and sleep. Turn your head both ways, see if anyone is coming who you might obstruct and then, if it’s the moment, push on that pedal. Once you’ve made it on the actual path is where the real hell begins.
Do not even begin to think that if you are finally riding on the way to that chicken burrito, you are the only one on the path; there’s a high chance that a blond, blue-eyed surfer dude is speeding up right behind you, waiting to take you on, and perform the glorious act of passingalowerbiker. Which leads us to the position while on the paths. Just like with a car on the road, keep right and stay there unless you’re passing. Elementary? I would think so, but you’d be surprised.
Roundabouts. When you approach one, por favor be aware that there might be people already in the circle of life, and if there are, they have the right of way! Let me be the first to go against what seems to be the misconception at UCSB and scream it: The bikers already in the roundabout have the right of way. So please, don’t just go straight because the person who is curving appears to be going slower. He/she is not, and if you hit him/her, he/she will get mad at you.
Point 2: Pardall Interceptions. If you happen to drive a car around I.V., and approach the intersections of Pardall and either of the Embarcaderos, know five things: there are not four stop signs, it is not a four-way-stop intersection, not all the cars have to stop, if you are going along Pardall you do not have to stop and if you are going toward or away from DP, you have to. Did I miss anything? It has to be one of the most frustrating experiences of coming to this school: being stuck at those stop signs for excessive seconds (even minutes!) because another mentally impaired driver doesn’t notice that there is no stop sign going his direction, but just a smooth, innocent, white line.
Let me end by encouraging you guys to look beyond the books, the kegs and the beaches; those are three things that will make your experience here unforgettable (maybe not in that order, but all three will), but there’s more to UCSB than that. Get involved! There are so many opportunities around you, and you don’t even realize it. So host your very own radio show playing the music you like the most on KCSB, join Campus Democrats to be more involved in political campaigns and events, check out the Environmental Affairs Board and meet other nature-friendly people; write on the Nexus opinion page. What, you think I had to get a Ph.D. to get this article in every classroom on campus? And those are just a few examples…
Oh, and if someone tells you that there’s a creepy, one-eyed monster living somewhere between the fifth and eighth floors of Storke Tower, don’t believe them for a second. Trust me, I fell for that one before, and it hurts!
Elia Boggia is a junior political science major at UCSB.