The university will not use its usual chain-link fences during Deltopia in April, as the informal street party will fall on the same weekend as Spring Insight.
In past years, UCPD has installed the chain-link fencing along El Colegio Road as a security measure during Deltopia and Halloween.
“We’re actually no longer doing that this year. I think that’s going to help really create a more welcoming vibe for campus,” Jayne Reimel, assistant director for the Visitor Center and Spring Insight organizer, said.
According to Sgt. Rob Romero, a UCPD spokesperson, smaller Deltopia crowds and Spring Insight will contribute to the decrease in fencing. Romero said UCPD currently plans to remove all the fencing along El Colegio Road.
“What we’re trying to do is scale back the police presence, scale back the fencing,” he said in an email. “We’re trying to make this a more welcoming community during that time, but still making sure that we have enough police presence there in case anything does end up getting out of hand.”
Spring Insight, a day when admitted prospective students are encouraged to visit campus, typically occurs on the second week of April, and Deltopia occurs on the first weekend back from Spring Break. Coincidentally, both events will occur at the same time this year.
Reimel said Spring Insight planners considered the admission decision release date and Easter holiday when scheduling the event.
“We actually plan Spring Insight dates years in advance,” she said. “So we typically do them in chunks of three, four, five years at a time so this date has actually been planned for the past three years.”
Because of Deltopia weekend this year, Spring Insight organizers also plan to keep prospective freshmen and families away from Isla Vista during the weekend by inviting families to eat at campus restaurants without mentioning places to eat in I.V.
“Usually we tell people, ‘You can eat on campus … but you can also go to I.V. and try all these eateries,’” Reimel said. “This year we’re not doing that. We’re really trying to keep them focused on campus, amping up our programming up a little bit, trying to provide more to keep them engaged while they’re here.”
Another concern of Spring Insight organizers is that Deltopia partygoers might take up parking spots on campus. Christopher Zbinden, the enforcement and guest services manager from UCSB’s Transportation & Parking Services department, said although the university’s policy of “no weekend overnight visitor parking” has not changed, the department will create a way to distinguish vehicles staying for Spring Insight from those who are not.
“If you’re coming into Spring Insight to register, you can actually print out a permit … there’s no cost, but it’s a way to identity those vehicles just in the event that one does stay overnight. That’ll help us best identify those people,” Zbinden said.
Chancellor Henry T. Yang said he encourages the UCSB community to provide a welcoming environment for prospective freshmen regardless of Deltopia.
“Through the partnership with our students, I understand that they, like all members of our campus, take pride in our community and value the reputation of where they live, learn, and work,” Yang said in an email. “These are the values that I encourage all of us to convey as we welcome our prospective students and their families to our campus during Spring Insight.”
So UCSB finally scales down the ridiculous police presence on Deltopia when it runs into public image problems? Big shocker. Maybe they should keep the fencing and cops, give the visitors a more honest picture.