IV locals are selfish for celebrating Deltopia in the midst of COVID-19

The Channels Opinion Pages | STAFF COLUMN

Alexandra Rubalcaba Ruther, Staff Writer

Isla Vista’s streets roared with music on April 3, its backyards jammed with college students ignoring the pleading against celebrating Deltopia due to COVID-19 safety concerns.

I believe Deltopia should not have taken place this year. It was selfish of those who disregarded warnings and went to giant parties.

Isla Vista residents annually flood the oceanside Del Playa Drive homes on the first Saturday of April and celebrate with all-day block-wide parties.

This year, some justified celebrating during COVID-19 with misconceptions about public safety.

Many made claims like “households carrying the antibodies can’t spread the virus”, “partiers with both vaccines can’t spread the virus,” or “partying outside means the virus is not likely to spread.”

This year Deltopia comes in the wake of Santa Barbara County moving from the purple COVID-19 safety tier to red. The tier drop allows businesses to open back up and more citizens going back to work.

Before Deltopia weekend, all City College students were sent an email reminding them that “gatherings be limited to members of no more than three households and that all participants be masked and maintain physical distance.”

Many students chose to disregard the numerous warnings made by authorities.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office threatened to fine party hosts. Fines would begin at $100, with $200 for a second offense and all subsequent offenses would be $500.

This year rumors of celebrating Floatopia, which originated in 2003, circulated around Isla Vista in hopes of getting around the Deltopia ban. 

Floatopia is a beach party where intoxicated students blow up huge floaties and bask in the ocean while drinking along the beaches of Isla Vista.

Students had stopped celebrating Floatopia in recent years due to the many issues surrounding the party.

If COVID-19 didn’t exist I would be open to Floatopia because it sounds fun.

The fact students tried to bring back a party that hasn’t been celebrated in years to get around COVID-19 restrictions is, in my opinion, desperate.

Police took extra precautions to prevent students from trying to move Deltopia to another location by closing all Isla Vista beaches over the weekend.

However, walking down the street I also saw how some residents celebrated in a safe manner. These residents safely played beer die with a small group of friends and drank in their front yards with housemates.

As an IV resident, I look forward to the day when I can safely walk Del Playa Drive and celebrate Deltopia with my friends. But this was not the appropriate year for students to think it was safe to celebrate.

It was hard not to think “if they’re partying, why can’t I?”

As much as partying would have been fun, I remembered that it’s more important for me to keep my friends and family safe by missing one more Deltopia.