Besides interesting bums, drunken sluts and weekday drinking, there is something else truly special about Isla Vista – themed parties! There are few places in the world where you can walk down the street on any weekend and see people dressed up in costumes. Maybe it’s because Halloween is so big here that we UCSB students want to keep dressing up year round, or maybe because it’s fun to get hammered while dressed as a blue power ranger and hook up with Ariel from “The Little Mermaid.” Themed parties are a lot of fun any way you look at it.

Hair is a great way to spice up a party. Throwing a mustache-themed party is one way to get everyone to dress up ridiculously. There is a great variety of fake mustaches at Scavenge downtown and it will only cost you a couple bucks. You can also draw on a funny fu manchu, handlebar mustache or a “molestache” – the thin upper-lip mustache typically found on child molesters. Another hair variation is the amazing hairpiece party. A good friend of mine had a party where everyone who came had to wear a wig. Even though I got too drunk and passed out before the party, I had a sweet wig and I heard it was an epic rager.

Letter parties are perfect for testing the creativity of your friends. Throw a “T” party where everyone dresses up as something that starts with the letter T. We had a “P” party at my house one time and some of the great costumes included Pimpette, Paris Hilton, Picnic, Puppy, Princess, Pooh bear and Poop. Another letter variation that works well with the Isla Vista forget-your-name-as-soon-as-I-meet-you culture is the “Dress as something that begins with the first letter of your name.” This mnemonic makes it much easier to remember people’s names. However, there might still be some people that will always remember me as Ray the Rabbit in a pink bunny suit. This might not be the way you want people to remember you.

One of the greatest themed parties we’ve had at my house has to be the gangster party. There is a section of my house that is titled the “Gang Bang” wing for reasons that are somewhat obvious. We opened this section of our house up and had a gang-banger party where everyone dressed up like gangsters and thugs. We walked around with 40-ouncers, bandanas, baseball hats, oversized football jerseys and fake guns. The fake guns were probably a horrible idea. Some of them were Airsoft guns, which don’t combine well with drunk people, and the cops ended up coming and giving us a noise violation. Good thing they never saw the fake guns or there would have been serious trouble.

The last sweet themed party I will explain is the “Heaven and Hell” theme. This party works well in two-story houses, but can be accomplished in a one-story, too. When we threw this party, we decorated the entire downstairs with red lights, flames and the seven deadly sins. Upstairs was covered with cotton clouds, the Ten Commandments and blue lights. Everyone who came to the party either dressed as an angel or a devil. This was definitely one of the coolest themed and decorated parties I’ve ever been to.

These themes are just a few ideas to spice up your parties. Every weekend there are tons of parties in I.V. Even though college has a way of teaching us that quantity is better than quality, I don’t think that goes for parties. Next time you throw a party at your house, carefully plan a theme. Go to Scavenge, a thrift store or Kmart and buy decorations. Try to match the alcohol to the theme of the party. Inform your guests that they must dress up. Most of these crazy themed parties can only be pulled off while we are in college, so take advantage of them while you can.