Campus groups including the Associated Students and the Office of Student Life met this week to plan and discuss major upcoming UCSB community events.
During spring quarter Isla Vista and campus see some of the largest events of the year, including the student-led beach frenzy known as “Floatopia” and the student-funded “Extravaganza” music festival. Among other concerns, the major events planning group addressed prospective issues of crowd control.
A.S. Program Board has officially confirmed that Extravaganza will be held on Sunday, May 15, though no further details have been released. The event is funded by a student lock-in fee and is free for students and the public.
ASPB Special Events Coordinator Ali Abas, a third-year biopsychology and global studies major, said the board is working with the major events planning council to combat overcrowding seen in recent years.
“We have been listening to a lot of student feedback and are working proactively to address the issues that arose last year, especially line control and crowd size,” Abbas said.
The unofficial and infamous Floatopia became a major public concern in recent years due to unprecedented turnout and extreme environmental impact. In 2009, due to widespread advance notice on social networking sites, Floatopia drew a crowd of more than 12,000 to Isla Vista beaches, resulting in 13 arrests, 78 citations, 33 hospitalizations and widespread land and water pollution.
External Vice President for Local Affairs Cori Lantz said A.S. has not stated an opinion about the event’s continued existence.
“As a group we are not going to be taking a stance, because there are so many opinions within the group,” Lantz said. “[However,] people are very responsive to the idea of cleaning up after themselves. Students understand the problems and what happened two years ago, and they don’t want to recreate that. They feel guilty.”
Police blocked entrances to Isla Vista’s beaches a year after Floatopia 2009 — which the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department said cost the county more than $20,000. While the shoreline was preserved, revelers took to the streets for “DP-Topia,” resulting in 31 arrests, 139 citations and twelve hospitalizations.
Several student groups, including the Environmental Affairs Board, have expressed strong resistance to Floatopia’s continuation. Alternative activities like Isla Vista Earth Day in Asiq’Oyo Park are planned for April 9.
Judith Dale, Assistant Director for Exercise and Sports Studies and Community Recreation, said she admired students’ commitment to taking care of their campus and community.
“I would just like to say how proud I am of UCSB students. I am glad the students are being responsible and stepping up,” Dale said. “It is kind of becoming ‘Halloween Two’; it is not the students who live here who are causing the problems.”
The planning committee also discussed plans for the fifth annual All Gaucho Reunion— a weekend of UCSB alumni events scheduled for the end of April. Additionally, the Rape Prevention and Education Program hopes to host a five kilometer run on April 16 to benefit the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center.
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