The increase in prescriptions has made Halloweekend a thing of the past
Isla Vista once housed one of the the most crazy Halloween parties all over America. Meanwhile, Isla Vista – already plentiful with parties and streets packed every regular Friday night – has been amplified far beyond its usual celebrations. It is known that tens of thousands of people have emigrated to the city, usually from other colleges and universities.
However, a slew of ordinances and restrictions put in place during Halloween, fear of expensive tickets, and increased law enforcement personnel have all but killed what was once one of California’s top Halloween party destinations. Laws such as Festival ordinance, which threatens anyone who plays loud music after 6 p.m. with a bill worth several hundred dollars, is an effective deterrent to anyone considering breaking the peace.
In addition, there is a noticeable increase in the police presence in Isla Vista on Halloween night, even with the small number of disturbances. Going further by discouraging outside guests, dormitory security increases dramatically from Halloweekend right through to the day, with miles of fencing placed on El Colegio Road and around the Santa Catalina Residence.
While widely hated, I believe many of these steps are necessary. Thousands of foreigners entering a city just to party can have a number of consequences. This brings potentially dangerous people into an environment filled not only with students, but also families of Goleta and the surrounding Isla Vista.
Even apart from the obvious problems that thousands of intoxicated students can cause in a densely populated area, other problems have also arisen in the past. Many of these people came to town with no place to spend the night and, after a day of drinking and partying, often found the right patch of land for them, which created new problems in itself.
However, IV is a far cry from the wild landscape it was on Halloween. The thousands of people who migrated to Isla Vista no longer come. Yet the laws, staff and fences are still in place to prevent this level of disruption from happening again. Anyone who has visited Santa Catalina recently can tell you what it looks like.
Festival ordinance laws ensure that the party is even less likely than any other regular weekend. Not to mention the students who receive a ticket, they will rarely have the funds to pay for it properly. KEYT-TV, the local Santa Barbara news channel, even had reported that “the number of medical transports was less than a typical weekend in Isla Vista”.
While the lingering reputation of Halloween parties hasn’t completely gone away, it’s clear that thousands of people are no longer migrating to Isla Vista to enjoy their Halloween. So why after years of drastically reduced activity do the same restrictions occur?
Party culture is part of UCSB, and it’s something that’s here to stay. There is a way to control the safety of the people of Isla Vista and Goleta without completely sterilizing Halloween for what it is today. Halloween should be a fun event, and while college programs help those who don’t want to party, the opportunity to do so should be present as well.