The Office of Student Life met last Friday to discuss the university’s involvement in upcoming campus and community-wide events.High-profile topics included Associated Students Program Board’s annual Extravaganza and the Isla Vista beach holiday, Floatopia. The meeting also touched on a prospective UCSB exhibition match between Gauchos men’s soccer and the Los Angeles Galaxy as well as upcoming Arts & Lectures performances.
UCSB Police Dept. Captain Cathy Farley said a Facebook page for Floatopia states that event organizers will soon obtain official permits from the county. However, Farley said this is untrue.
“Unfortunately, the people who are pushing it forward are not being honest,” Farley said.
Contrary to Facebook notices for the beach party — which saw nearly 12,000 attendees in 2009 — no one has indicated a plan to organize the event through legal means. Last year, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors banned alcohol from local beaches and law enforcement implemented barricades at beach access points during the anticipated time for Floatopia 2010.
Last year, a UCSB student attempted to insure the event, but authorities reported that his efforts fell far short of the planning necessary to accommodate tens of thousands of drinking students. In past years, UCSB officials and local environmentalists have complained that Floatopia poses a host of environmental and health risks for the county.
To dissipate crowds and provide an alternative to likely inevitable festivities, Associated Students is working to secure an appearance at UCSB from the Los Angeles Galaxy soccer team for an exhibition match the same weekend as Floatopia. According to Community Recreation Dept. Assistant Director Judith Dale, the Athletics Dept. hopes to organize the soccer match for either March 5 or 6.
A.S. Program Board Special Events Coordinator Ali Abbas, a third-year biopsychology and global studies major, said ASPB is trying to make Extravaganza more efficient and accommodating to large crowds. In response to the growing number of attendees — including over 7,000 out-of-towners — and increased number of medical emergencies at last year’s concert, Program Board will start new procedures to reduce lines at Harder Stadium, where the concert is held.
“There will be a new entrance opening up, which should make the lines move faster,” Abbas said.
According to Cathy Oliverson, manager of UCSB’s Arts & Lectures Performing Arts division, the organization includes on-campus events every year that appeal specific to the student body.
This year, Oliverson said Arts & Lectures will host a free concert by master ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro on March 31 at Storke Plaza.