Isla vista is our home, not your playground


The Channels Editorial Board

Temporary stop signs were erected Sunday to replace those ripped from the ground by rioters late Saturday night, when approximately 25,000 people descended on Isla Vista for the now infamous Deltopia street party.

Within hours, the temporary signs were also removed and stolen.

There’s no better metaphor for the debauchery left to run rampant in the square mile responsible for UCSB’s title as one of the top party schools in the nation.

Unfortunately, the name fits. Many students now intentionally choose to attend either City College or UCSB because of the party culture, which only exacerbates the problem.

Though it is easy to point the finger at non-locals, who racked up most of the arrests and citations last weekend, this is our town, our culture, and ultimately, our reputation.

Right now the community sees us as inbreeding party animals.

The Channels Editorial Board urges Isla Vista denizens to take a break from removing their own stop signs and consider this ancient saying: “don’t crap where you drink.”

Or better yet, don’t encourage the binge-drinking culture that results in medical emergencies, property damage, death, national news coverage and rioting.

Isla Vista is just as much City College’s home as it is the University’s, and we need to take responsibility, collectively, for our wrongdoings, because waiting on the county to react has proven fruitless thus far.

Law enforcement attempts to control the damage to no avail. In fact, the increased police presence in Isla Vista has had unintended consequences. The noise ordinance prohibiting loud music on Del Playa Saturday night backfired and arguably resulted in riling the crowd to the point of rioting.

Well, what did we expect? Pack a street with students shoulder to shoulder like sardines, marinate them in disgusting amounts of alcohol and let them roam the streets in silence all night, then wonder why their behavior was explosive.

Clearly, this method is not working to quell the social-media fueled mutant bloc party.

Though Isla Vista is unique without a doubt, street festivals where thousands of college students can roam around in a sunny, drunken stupor are not so. Why, then, does Deltopia tend to go wrong?

Because it is unsanctioned.

If the community, including student and administrative representatives from UCSB and City College, could get together to organize a sanctioned event that charges an entrance fee and has designated drinking areas, we would at the very least have a much safer Deltopia weekend.

Not to mention that potential revenue could be used to clean and rebuild the crumbling Isla Vista we have on our hands right now.

Isla Vista’s facilities are okay at best. Last year, several students were seriously injured when a balcony collapsed under the weight of too many partiers.

Though social media is buzzing with Isla Vista residents suggesting we attempt to localize the event once more, because it is “ours, not theirs,” this prospect is naïve in the face of 25,000 who thought otherwise this year alone.

At this point the only thing we can do is apologize and move forward. We cannot be stubborn. Attempts to stop the event have not prospered in the past. Perhaps we should consider a new method of control that will still allow youth to have fun while keeping them safe.

Temporary stop signs just won’t do anymore.