I would like to take this opportunity to clear up a common misconception among UCSB students: it’s okay to go out in the rain. It won’t hurt you.

Last Friday, the rain came down like the tears of God. The surface of the pavement, glassy as a mirror, reflected no one – there was no one on campus to reflect. This completely accurate and non-hyperbolic description shows one irrefutable fact: UCSB students are terrified of rain.

This has got to stop, people. The terror is so strong it interferes with your otherwise happy and productive lives. I know every student on campus, myself included, loves to go to their classes and would never ever dream of skipping them, but class attendance during the rain-soaked Friday was down significantly.

When I arrived at a meeting for College of Creative Studies’ literature major Friday morning, one of the girls informed us she had to leave early because she “had a plane to catch.” She knew rain was coming, and she wanted to get out while there was still time. I can picture her now, all snug and strapped into her seat, the first drops of rain just beginning to fall outside her window as the plane lifts off into the air. “Later, suckers!” she probably said, which is really not a very nice thing to say, even in my imagination.

Things only got worse when the rain began falling. The actual meeting, which had twenty members last week, now had a grand total of six. There’s obviously nothing people would rather do on a Friday than attend a meeting about the bureaucracy of their major. The rain is clearly responsible for scaring them away.

Friday evening, my friends and I held auditions for our on-campus theater companies. Forty people confirmed they were attending according to our Facebook announcement. Only a little more than half showed up. Since Facebook represents a binding contract, only something as horrifying as rain could keep them from coming.

It’s not your fault, UCSB students. With all the anti-rain propaganda out there, it’s easy to believe the hype. The documentary film “The Wizard of Oz” shows the terrifying effects of water on witches, but I’d like to assure you that you will not melt in the rain, unless you’re a witch, of course. If any witches are reading this column, I’d advise you to stay inside.

Science doesn’t offer any comfort, either. The idea of acid rain is less than reassuring. The word “acid” makes us think of a substance so destructive it has the power to burn our faces off. In reality, acid rain is really just polluted rain. We can all take comfort in that, yes, it may kill us, but it will probably do so slowly.

Songs like “It’s Raining Men” sound good in theory, but have you ever seen a man? Most of them are pretty big, and the idea of a bunch of them falling from the sky is downright frightening. Imagine it: men falling from the sky, impaled on umbrellas, crushing unsuspecting people, landing with a – SPLAT – on the pavement. It’s really quite gruesome and not a call for the “hallelujah” of the song’s chorus.

The phrase “it’s raining cats and dogs” is similarly problematic. I mean, if it were raining Chihuahuas, we might be able to handle it, but raining Great Danes would be pretty intense. Additionally, there are already so many puppies and kitties without homes that it seems wrong to get more. I know UCSB students can’t bear to see fuzzy animals without homes. This is one reason so many people are afraid to go outside in the rain.

It’s all right, Gauchos. We can overcome this fear together. Since most of you enjoy the beach, it can’t be the water itself that’s the problem. It’s water falling from the sky that’s the issue here. The next time it rains, just think of it as a big beach in the sky. Hell, wear a bathing suit or swim trunks if it makes you feel brave. Or stage a Gene Kelly-like musical number. Hopefully I’ll see you singin’ in the rain some time soon.