The melee that broke out following the street party known as Deltopia last Saturday night led to more than 100 arrests and dozens of injuries, including those suffered by Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies who were hit by bricks and full bottles of alcohol.
15,000 people convened this year for the annual spring break celebration known as Deltopia, an unsanctioned, largely unregulated event that draws partiers from all over Southern California, even from out of state.
Last year’s event was plagued by several violent and tragic events, including an accidental falling death of 18-year-old Giselle Esme Ayala, a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student. The annual street party is not a new phenomenon for UCSB’s off-campus Isla Vista community.
Many locals point fingers at the out-of-towners, blaming them for the wild and dangerous behavior. But UCSB student body representatives stated that a change in Isla Vista resident’s party mentality is also in order.
If events like this can’t be better regulated, should they be banned altogether? Does the responsibility fall on law enforcement to crack down? What can students do to discourage disorderly conduct in their community? Can a “party school” change its collective mentality and, therefore, change its reputation?
KPCC's online polls are not scientific surveys of local or national opinion. Rather, they are designed as a way for our audience members to engage with each other and share their views. Let us know what you think on our Facebook page, facebook.com/kpcc, or in the comments below.
Kelly Hoover, Public Information Officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office
Jonathan Abboud, UCSB student association president
STATEMENT FROM UCSB:
“Deltopia” is an unsanctioned event that took place in the streets and private residences of a nearby community where many college-age students, including some from UC Santa Barbara as well as Santa Barbara City College, choose to live during their studies. Unfortunately, it also draws large numbers from outside the Santa Barbara area who typically represent the largest percentage of arrests and citations during the event.
The unsanctioned event is a serious concern for the University as well as many Isla Vista residents. Although not in the jurisdiction of the University, we discourage student participation and work closely with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office to promote safety and provide policing support. In addition to contributing significant policing resources, the University also provides resources for lighting and security cameras in Isla Vista.
The actions of some the participants involved in Saturday night’s incidents were outrageous and extremely dangerous. Any of our students found to have violated the law or University policies are subject to University sanctions.
In the coming months we look forward to discussions with local government officials, law enforcement, Santa Barbara City College administration and our own students on ways to address the events of last night and hopefully prevent them from taking place in the future.
Finally, we are extremely grateful for the efforts of the law enforcement officers and safety teams who risk their own safety to protect the community -- the Sheriff’s Office, the UCPD, the Santa Barbara County Fire Department and other local law enforcement departments. Our thoughts go out to those officers who were injured Saturday night and we wish for a quick recovery.