Ever since the amazing event that was Floatopia occurred, many people in the community have been quite upset with the students of UCSB. Professors, politicians and local community members have been outraged by our antics and apparent lack of respect for our ocean. The biggest point these people seem to make is that we act so environmentally friendly, but we are actually hypocrites because of the damage from Floatopia. I understand this point but I also have a question of my own: Who left the lights on?

I have been walking around this campus for months now and there is one thing that is constantly on my mind. For being such a liberal institution, UCSB loves to waste energy. I ride around campus late at night and thousands of lights are constantly on. If nobody is in these huge science labs and buildings at 2 a.m., why the hell are the lights on? It makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. Another thing I find frustrating is the bike path lighting. There are sometimes four to five lights lighting up a single area that really does not have to be lit at 3 a.m. I ride past these lawns and wonder who needs to see the damn lagoon lit up in all its dull orange glow at 2 a.m.? There is no purpose for these lights and all they do is suck up our energy.

The biggest impact of this energy waste can be seen in my dorm. There is a damn light for every foot on the ceiling, and three lights in the hallway. During the day these lights are on but serve absolutely no purpose. There is plenty of natural sunlight throughout the entire day to light my building, yet the lights stay on 24 hours a day and continue to run our energy bill through the roof. I guess that does not matter to the administration because, after all, the STUDENTS are paying for it.

One faculty member stated that Floatopia was “frivolous, self-indulgent, destructive and irresponsible.” While this may be true, the only time I have seen people start to complain about wasting our resources is when the money to fix these comes from their pockets. They obviously do not feel that way about the extreme energy waste that takes place on this campus because student fees make them plenty of money while also funding this horrible waste of electricity. I admit that Floatopia is not the best thing for the beach, but what about the thousands of people who flock to Southern California beaches on a daily basis over summer and urinate in and contaminate those waters? I have many suggestions that would save thousands upon thousands of dollars for this campus, and maybe those saved funds could turn around to benefit the real priority of this school: the STUDENTS.

I had a great time at Floatopia, and I can’t wait for similar future parties. Next time the community wants to complain about how much events like this cost and affect all of us, maybe they should look at the waste and money they throw away on a daily basis right here at our very own institution.