Red cups. Abs everywhere. Pulsing music. Nothing but sunny skies dotted with the occasional water balloon. This year’s Deltopia was no exception to the celebration’s repertoire. We all partook, Nexites too, and the vast majority of us walked away sunned, exhausted and full of more fond IV memories.

But Deltopia 2013 was exceptional for other reasons. For those readers who missed the Monday issue of the Nexus, one particularly chilling headline stands out: “Woman Found on Isla Vista Beach…” That was a difficult article to have to write and an even harder truth to bear. Our hearts go out to the friends and family of Giselle Ayala, the 18-year-old Cal Poly freshman who was found by a jogger Sunday morning near Campus Point.

Unfortunately, even a tragedy like this one is not foreign to the festivities that have become IV classics. These major celebrations, especially Halloween, Deltopia and its precursor Floatopia, are increasingly accompanied by property damage, fights, arrests, injuries, alcohol poisoning, hospital visits and even deaths.

We won’t pretend to have the answers. Rather, in the past few days, we’ve done our duty to inform you about what happened, and now, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on recent tragedies like Giselle Ayala’s death.

As IV’s biggest events grow and evolve, we can’t continue to blame out-of-towners (many of whom are your friends or friends’ friends) when things go wrong. After all, this is our event and visitors look to us locals to set the tone. Though we may not all be in agreement as to what that tone should be, in light of an 18-year-old’s life cut short on our beach, it is time we talk about it as a community.

This week, we ask you to send us your Deltopia experiences and how Isla Vistans can best preserve our town’s traditions, continuing to rage — responsibly and respectively. Please share your thoughts with us at With your permission, we will publish submissions both online and in print for the rest of this and next week.

Olivia Cvitanic and Tiare Hoegerman are Opinion Co-Editors.


A version of this article appeared on page 12 of the Wednesday, April 10, 2013 print edition of the Nexus.