The UCSB Office of Student Life recently established the After Dark Club to create non-alcoholic weekend social events for students in Isla Vista.
The club receives excess funds from the university’s similarly-named After Dark Program to organize various weekend activities and curb the number of alcohol-related incidents within the community. The After Dark Program’s finances come from a quarterly Office of Student Life lock-in fee last approved in 2007.
According to After Dark Program intern Jasmine Williamson, a third-year literature major, the group helps direct the organization’s funding to better serve its goals.
“The club was started because the After Dark Program was previously just a funding source for non-alcoholic events,” Williamson said. “But a lot of the times, those events didn’t have the same missions that we have. I started this club so we can really be centered on non-alcoholic events.”
Williamson said the club will organize several events open to all students each quarter in addition to gatherings reserved for club members.
“We can get all the people who live in the dorms and think ‘Oh my God! Is there nothing to do in Santa Barbara but drink every weekend and end up sitting in the dorms watching Hulu all year?’” Williamson said. “I wanted to give people something else to do.”
First-year biology major Brian Park said events will serve students alienated from I.V.’s nightlife.
“I think it’s a good alternative,” Park said. “Especially in freshman year, a lot of people may feel pressured to socialize and fit in and having that kind of club provides a great alternative. If some of my friends wanted to go then I would definitely go … If you are just the only one who doesn’t go out and drink, then it sounds like a great event to find people that share similar interests.”
The club aims to fill a niche in the community’s weekend activities, according to After Dark Club Vice President Becca Jozsa.
“I actually emailed Jasmine and I wanted to get involved because partying gets old after a while,” Jozsa, a third-year sociology major, said. “For three weeks, it was just us trying to get flyers printed up and trying to get things really moving.”
Jozsa said the group does not try to criticize students who choose to drink alcohol.
“It is not like we are decrying alcohol, but it’s just an alternative,” Jozsa said. “I just want people to get away from that scene and get high off of life.”