Is Floatopia the Halloween of Spring Quarter? If it wasn’t before, it is now. Floatopia is officially the first weekend of Spring Quarter at UCSB, reportedly drawing over 12,000 people for one day of Miami-style beach partying, self-sponsored and incredibly fucking awesome.

Let me introduce a different side of the story than the one written from a spectator’s vantage point.

It is no surprise that, of all places, Isla Vista would proclaim itself the Spring Break college party host of the West Coast; it can only get better.

One of the “sponsored” tents was actually just my group of friends (who were up the night before pulling stuff down to the beach), my brother (a freshman at CSU Fullerton who’s now set on moving here) and I at the beach at 6:45 a.m. the following morning digging a fucking hole. After about 8 a.m., roommates and friends started calling and coming down to help as well. No sponsor, no frat — just us. IV Garb came down later with a separate DJ system. After helping unload their stuff next to ours, we used their switchboard and connected six PA speakers, a sub and four DJs who could play different music at different times. At least, this is how I saw it coming together.

As early as 10 a.m., A.S. Recycling came around on their beach buggies and personally gave our set-up two recycling bins, scattering other bins periodically down the beach. That was the cherry on top of the cake (the icing had been set hours ago): A.S. was recognizing and doing a part to help our now-official Spring Quarter kickoff.

A few minutes later, we saw our first round of police. The UCPD came over to our group and “wowed” at our efforts. Two tents and a bamboo pirate flagpole 30-feet-high elicited a “Ready to party?” from one of them. They were even nice enough to offer to call the ambulance for me when I asked if they had a bandage. According to them, the new EMTs were pretty damn hot. I thought about it and decided not to waste any of the county’s money, even though it was highly recommended by the UCPD that I have my finger checked out.

After that, they arrested the first of the 13 people who would be arrested throughout the day. This initial arrest was at about 10 a.m., and the guy they arrested was actually a morning surfer who didn’t get any sleep the night before. We let him sleep in our tent for two hours before we needed the space. For whatever reason, they arrested him. Coincidentally, I knew another one of the people arrested personally and would like to say this: You are a savage.

When trying to think of the other “sponsors,” I asked Evan Oullette, a third-year political science major and part of the group organizing one of the tents, who, if anyone, was sponsored. According to Oullette, “There were a total of only three tents (our two and one closer to the entrance of the access) with another DJ.” So it was a total of three tents: one random group of savages, IV Garb and some guy toward the beach access.

DJ Bennie D started it loud and, as they say, the rest is history. If you haven’t checked, search YouTube for “Floatopia 2009” and get wet off of how Spring Quarter ’09 has already started. We have a Beer Pong League, 50 Club and Extravaganza. Now we also have the only college with an annual Spring Quarter beach party right in front of our school, put on by none other than I.V. residents.