After spending Memorial Day weekend jumping off of houseboats in Lake Mead, doing naked keg stands and partying in Las Vegas, I thought I would have something funny to write about. Instead, for my last article of the year, I would like to focus on the main point of the party column – Isla Vista party culture.
Recently there have been propositions to change the I.V. community we know and love. Some focus on improving problems with I.V., while others are trying to take away the party atmosphere.
I.V. is one of the most unique places in the world. Usually house parties consist of a few under-aged high schoolers drinking their mom’s wine coolers and their dad’s beer. Not in I.V. Going to a bar, liquor store or party often implies finding a designated driver, but not in I.V. Dressing up in a silly costume and getting wasted is usually only for Halloween… but not in I.V. Like a midget cheerleader with a megaphone, I.V. is small yet loud and proud. Unfortunately, some people want to change this atmosphere.
The UCSB Rules and Jurisdiction Committee had been discussing extending university jurisdiction into I.V. If this had passed, certain crimes would not only have been punished by law, but also by the university. This is aimed at students convicted of arson, theft or alcohol- and drug-related crimes. The alcohol distribution and drug sale areas did not pass. The board did, however, approve extending jurisdiction for arson and theft.
What a student does in his or her personal life shouldn’t be judged by the university. If a student is convicted of getting drunk and lighting a couch on fire, they’ll be dealing with a world of shit anyway. If this jurisdiction is extended, the student would most likely be suspended or expelled. I think that couch burning is a light-hearted and harmless part of I.V. culture, and the punishment is harsh enough already.
I’ll agree with the extension of university punishment for theft. As most people who live in I.V. know, your shit gets stolen. I’ve had countless things stolen from me, like a laptop, television, camera and luggage. If students are going to steal from each other, I’m all for the university kicking them out. The main problem with this, however, is that the people that are usually stealing shit aren’t students. This extension of jurisdiction would have little effect.
Skateboarding on campus has also been recently attacked. Just because Student Health noticed that some people have been crashing on their skateboards is no reason to ban skateboards from campus. I have been skateboarding to class and all around I.V. for three years and never been seriously injured. If people skate to class and eat shit, it’s their own fault for sucking. They need to get better or stop skating. More importantly, every week I see some idiot – usually a freshman girl, no offense – crash her bike on the way to class. I’ve seen way more bike accidents than skateboard accidents. Bikes are also more expensive, especially since you will have to buy at least three because they always get stolen. The solution is definitely not to ban skateboarding, and I’m glad an immediate ban was shut down.
The I.V. Master Plan is probably the most prominent recent proposition to change I.V. With appealing proposals to offer more affordable housing, more parking and reduce traffic the IVMP looks like a good plan. The real idea here, however, is to make I.V. look more like State Street in hopes of getting rid of the college party culture. The plan is to add roundabouts on certain intersections to improve traffic. What is this, Europe? Americans don’t know how to drive around fucking circles. I’ve seen them attempt to deal with the new roundabout by the 217 and it’s comical. More sidewalks? I like walking in the middle of the street – it’s another crucial part of I.V. culture. If everyone started walking on the sidewalks, how would people distinguish the freshmen to throw water balloons at them? Sure, it would be nice to have more housing and parking, but by the time any of this plan is implemented, it’ll be too late. None of us will be around to see these positive effects that are needed today. Instead when we come visit our alma mater, we will see a lamer version of State Street.