UC Santa Barbara will spend an estimated $30,000 to $40,000 on advertisements urging partygoers to stay away from Isla Vista during Deltopia weekend.
The advertisements will appear on Pandora, Facebook and television in the weeks leading up to Deltopia, which typically takes place on the first weekend after spring break.
According to Chuck Haines, the acting assistant chancellor for the Office of Budget and Planning, the funding for these advertisements comes from unrestricted gift funds, which are donations made by alumni.
He said the university spent $41,000 in advertising for Deltopia and $30,000 for Halloween last year. According to Haines, UCSB typically runs these campaigns for three to four weeks, spending $10,000 per week of advertising.
Students throughout California have reported hearing Pandora ads dissuading them from travelling to Santa Barbara for festivities held on both Deltopia and Halloween weekends.
Alongside the Deltopia ad campaign, the university also contributes $15,000 per year to the much larger countywide “Keep Isla Vista Safe” campaign that runs television and radio advertisements year-round.
According to university spokesperson Andrea Estrada, UCSB shares the cost of “Keep Isla Vista Safe” with local agencies including the City of Goleta, the Santa Barbara County District Attorney, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff and Santa Barbara City College.
Two years ago, campaign organizers posted a video on their Facebook page warning viewers that attending Deltopia could potentially result in mugshots.
The video also cautions viewers of the 300-officer police force, extra DUI checkpoints and severe parking restrictions. The hashtags #LocalsOnlyBrah and #StillPayingForIt were widely circulated on the page in preparation for last year’s Deltopia.
The Nexus reported in April that students spoke out against “Keep Isla Vista Safe,” saying that the campaign received no input from students and inaccurately portrayed Isla Vista. The UCSB Task Force Against Police Brutality and the Black Student Union also held silent demonstrations at the Arbor.
The UCSB Office of Student Affairs also sends letters to local high school and middle school principals discouraging young Isla Vistans from attending party weekends.
The office sends a similar letter to college students in California detailing potential risks that Deltopia poses, such as severe parking restrictions, police presence and increased law and ordinance enforcement. Debbie Fleming, the assistant vice chancellor of student affairs, oversees the letters.
“This letter goes to my counterpart at all the other UC campuses, and we ask for it to be distributed to students,” Fleming said. “We have a list of other California colleges that includes schools from which students have been arrested or cited in Isla Vista during past years.”
The Office of Student Affairs additionally sends UCSB students emails with safety information prior to events such as Halloween and Deltopia that emphasize the university’s policy on visitors. Residence halls do not permit students to have guests during that timeframe. The university also runs ads in the Nexus and The Bottom Line.
The EVPLA office, which participates in the “Keep Isla Vista Local” campaign, sent postcards to each address in I.V. prior to Halloween weekend, in addition to communicating safety information before both Halloween and Deltopia.
Deltopia 2015 and 2016 witnessed a significant decrease in attendance paired with a drop in the number of arrests and citations.
In a statement released on the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, authorities reported that last year’s turnout of 3,500 people was “dramatically lower” than the 10,000 people who were estimated to have attended in 2015 and the 20,000 to 25,000 people who attended in 2014.
A.S. Program Board also holds a spring concert restricted only to UCSB students, which prevents visitors from attending.
“We’ve had a lot of really positive feedback from students who like having a fun alternative that is for UCSB students only,” Fleming said.
A version of this story appeared on p.1 of the Thursday, Feb. 9, edition of the Daily Nexus.