1. Students can climb to the top of Storke Tower for a breathtaking view of campus and the surrounding beaches.

FICTION: Well, it depends. Storke Tower is, unfortunately, not generally accessible to students, but some have still found their way to the top. Tours are available on a first-come, first-served basis during Spring Quarter. However, this list fills up quickly, so if this experience is on your UCSB bucket list, make sure to keep an eye out for sign-ups!


  1. There is live stream video footage of the four dining commons so you can compare crowd levels.heads of people

FACT: Check the “Dining Cams” at housing.ucsb.edu/dining/dining-cams to see which dining commons have long lines so you can avoid them and head straight for the grub.


  1. Isla Vista is the most densely populated square mile west of the Mississippi.

FICTION: According to U.S. Census data, Isla Vista is actually 2.2 square miles with about 12,000 residents per square mile, making it the 26th most densely populated area in California. Maywood, CA comes in at number one with some 23,000 people per square mile. However, SBCC Trustee and Former A.S. President Jonathan Abboud had this to say regarding the uniqueness of Isla Vista’s residential situation.

“While it is true [that Isla Vista is 2.2 square miles] according to the US Census, it is not completely reflective of what is commonly viewed as ‘Isla Vista.’ The ‘census designated place’ includes the entire campus, the IV box, and some surrounding land. The IV box alone is around 300 acres, about 0.5 square miles.

The population of the box alone, according to the census, is 15,000 and due to the nature of IV housing it can be up to 18,000 people. This puts the box’s density anywhere from 28,000 – 36,000 people per square mile, making it significantly more dense than Maywood, CA.”


So there you have it, folks. According to the U.S. government, this is fiction. To Isla Vistans, however, we can feel justified in our complaints of being packed in like sardines, more so than anyone else west of the Mississippi.


  1. Isla Vista Foot Patrol tickets people for sitting on the sidewalk at night. police man

FICTION: Sitting on the sidewalk is not illegal. However, on weekend nights when intoxicated partiers swarm the streets, police officers notoriously approach those sitting on curbs, taking it as a sign that they are too drunk to stand. So, if you find yourself wanting to take a break on your way back to the dorms, resist the urge to sit!


  1. The coastline west of Isla Vista was the only location of a Japanese mainland attack during WWII.

FACT: During WWII, what is now UCSB’s main campus was part of a Marine Air base, and a Japanese submarine torpedoed the nearby coastline.


  1. Isla Vista consumes one percent of alcohol sold in the United States.

FICTION: For this to be true, each of UCSB’s 23,000 students would have to drink approximately 52,000 cans of beer per year. Do the math and that works out to be an impressive 142 cans per day. The Nexus, therefore, seriously doubts this fun “fact” could be accurate.

  1. UCSB currently has three Nobel laureates on its faculty.

FICTION: UCSB actually has SIX Nobel laureates on its faculty including Walter Kohn (Chemistry, 1998), Herbert Kroemer (Physics, 2000), Alan J. Heeger (Chemistry, 2000), David J. Gross (Physics, 2004), Finn E. Kydland (Economics, 2004) and Shuji Nakamura (Physics, 2014).

  1. A Nexus reporter once made a discovery that led to the chancellor’s resignation.theif man

      FACT: In July 1986, former UCSB Chancellor Robert Huttenback submitted his resignation after Nexus reporter Steve Elzer discovered the chancellor and his wife had allegedly embezzled more than $170,000 from the university. They were convicted two years later.

wifi thing

  1. UCSB was one of the four initial institutions connected to the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network A.R.P.A.N.E.T., which later became the early Internet.

FACT: UCSB, along with UCLA, University of Utah and Stanford University were the first four universities to get connected.

  1. The UCSB lagoon is up to 45 feet deep in some areas.

FICTION: The lagoon measures no more than six feet deep and is home to various fish and bird species, including the famous snowy egret. While some Gauchos may have swimming in the lagoon on their bucket lists, exposure to the lagoon’s water can cause sickness, so stick to the ocean for your water-based recreational activities.

  1. Chancellor Yang and his wife, Dilling, live on campus and eat at the dining commons regularly.yang fo sho

FACT: Try to spot them walking around campus! Their humble abode overlooks the lagoon and they are always ready with a smile for any student who recognizes them.

Art done by Tarush Mohanti.

A version of this story appeared on page 14 of the Thursday, August 27, 2015 print edition of the Daily Nexus.