UCSB campus groups are offering various events this weekend designed to accommodate students who are striv- ing to steer clear of what is predicted to be Isla Vista’s biggest weekend event of the year.
The Residence Halls Association, Isla Vista Arts, Associated Students and other campus and local organiza- tions will be holding several sober social programs through- out the weekend including a midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Magic Lantern Theater, Halloween-themed comedy shows, a trash pick-up and a carnival. However, the Office of Student Life’s After Dark Program, a campus organization dedicated to funding and publicizing alcohol-free events, will not be sponsoring any Halloween alternatives due to the fact that all available school resources will be directed towards Isla Vista, accord- ing to After Dark Program Special Events Coordinator Barbara Ortiz.
According to Associated Students Finance Board Chairman Raul Martinez, alternative social events will be available for students who wish to abstain from Isla Vista’s typical Halloween rituals.
“If you don’t want to be part of the drinking and party- ing, there are still ways you can have fun and be social,” Martinez said. “[I know] there are programs such as After Dark that give student groups the funding to host social events if they meet a certain criteria, such as if the event is on a Friday or Saturday. On Halloween, I am sure that residence halls and student programs will find a lot of alternative activities to do for students that do not want to participate in the status quo drinking scene.”
Resident Hall Association President Jonathan Abboud said RHA will be holding a daytime celebration on campus to offer entertainment outside of I.V. on Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
“RHA is putting on a carnival this weekend … near San Nicholas’ lawn. … We are going to have food, games, a bounce house, stuff like that,” Abboud said.
According to Martinez, students should not feel duty-bound to participate in substance-induced holiday festivities and are encour- aged to prioritize their individual happiness instead of following the crowd.
“Nobody has to feel the pressure that they need to drink or par- take in Halloween [in the Isla Vista party scene],” Martinez said. “If you feel that it is not something you prefer, it is perfectly fine to feel like staying in and watching a movie or even leaving town. You don’t need to feel obligated to be dragged into it by your peers or being part of something you don’t want to be in.”
A.S. External Vice President for Local Affairs Rhandy Siordia said residents should feel free to enjoy the weekend and appreci- ate the Halloween tradition in any context that works for them, whether they choose to insulate themselves from the projected mayhem or add to it.
“I don’t think anybody would be feeling left out if they don’t participate, it’s more of a choice to opt out,” Siordia said. “It’s a personal choice — everybody is an adult and has their own locus of control of whether they want to drink or don’t want to drink. … They have the option of staying in and not going out that weekend … I really encourage all students to have that integrity to do what they feel is the right choice for them.”