Deltopia: Keeping It Local

UCSB policies and initiatives aim to discourage out-of-town visitors and ensure this year’s festivities are safe and homegrown

In advance of this weekend’s Deltopia event, UC Santa Barbara is instituting several policies and restrictions designed to limit visitors’ access to campus during the course of the unsanctioned street festival. The university also is working in collaboration with officials from Santa Barbara County and the city of Goleta to enforce ordinances and restrictions that extend to Isla Vista and Goleta.

As alternatives to Deltopia, a number of activities will be taking place on campus throughout the day and evening, all of which are open only to UCSB students. In addition, no-guest policies have been put in place for all campus residence halls and for university-owned housing in Isla Vista.

Parking on campus will be restricted from 5 p.m. Friday, April 3, to 7:30 a.m. Sunday, April 5. For this weekend, daytime parking is available only to vehicles displaying valid permits issued by the Department of Transportation and Parking Services. Permits purchased via dispensers will expire at 11:59 p.m. Friday, April 3, and 11:59 p.m. Saturday, April 4. Permits are not valid for overnight parking.

Additional on-street parking restrictions have been established by the city of Goleta for the neighborhoods around UCSB. Only those vehicles displaying valid permits, which have been provided by the city, will be allowed to park on the street between 9 a.m. Saturday, April 4, and 6 a.m. Sunday, April 5. All others will be towed at the owners’ expense.

In further action, the Santa Barbara County Community Services Department has announced that Isla Vista beaches will be closed to the public on Saturday and Sunday, April 4 and 5. The closure will be enforced by the Sheriff's Office and other law enforcement agencies.

The university’s efforts include the UCSB Police Department’s addition of 100 mutual aid officers drawn from its sister campuses as well as from some California State University campuses. “That’s in addition to the 150 or so deputies from the Sheriff’s Department,” said UCSB Police Chief Dustin Olson. “We’re very prepared because we’ve used this model in the past.”

Olson said his team of officers will begin gearing up for Deltopia on Thursday, increase staffing on Friday and then adjust those levels as necessary throughout the day on Saturday and into the evening.

The California Highway Patrol also will be part of the law enforcement effort, enhancing the staffing levels and concentrating on the roadways in and around Isla Vista. Sheriff’s deputies will be on the lookout for underage drinkers (including carrying out sweeps of local hotels) and Alcohol and Beverage Control agents will be monitoring Isla Vista and Goleta for sales of alcohol to minors and the illegal transportation of alcohol.

The university has taken a number of other actions to discourage out-of-towners from descending on Isla Vista over the weekend. And it’s the out-of-towners who cause the most trouble, Olson noted. According to police reports following last year’s Deltopia, 92 percent of the event-related arrests involved individuals who have no affiliation with UCSB.

Earlier this month, all UCSB students received a letter warning them about possible outcomes for visitors to Isla Vista; with zero-tolerance (“one and done”) enforcement of laws and local ordinances, these include arrests for public intoxication and underage drinking, which will likely result in at least one night in jail.

Also, Santa Barbara County’s noise ordinance banning live and prerecorded amplified music in public spaces in Isla Vista from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. will be strictly enforced during the first two weekends of April.

In addition to the letter to UCSB students, similar correspondence was sent to the principals of every high school and junior high school from Santa Maria to Oxnard, encouraging them to spread the word to parents that Isla Vista is not the place for their teenage children. “A lot of school officials really appreciate that we do this,” said Debbie Fleming, senior associate dean in UCSB’s Office of Student Life. “They appreciate that they have something they can forward to their communities.”

Making sure the word also spreads to other colleges and universities, inter-Greek governing council leadership at UCSB has notified fellow fraternity and sorority members from other campuses that UCSB’s Greek chapters have adopted strict weekend guest policies and will not be open to non-UCSB sorority and fraternity members during the first two weekends in April.

Over the past few months, a rigorous social media campaign has been undertaken with the goal of iterating and reiterating all the possible outcomes for people who come to Isla Vista for Deltopia. Targeted both geographically and by age, the campaign includes advertising on Pandora Internet Radio and through “Keep Isla Vista Safe” Facebook and Twitter pages. Advertisements in video format are also being delivered through YouTube, and full-page ads are running in UCSB’s Daily Nexus and in other key student newspapers.

“Keep Isla Vista Safe” is an initiative begun last year and includes representatives from UCSB, Santa Barbara County, the city of Goleta, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, the office of District Attorney Joyce Dudley and Santa Barbara City College.

 “We’re getting a lot of student cooperation,” Fleming said about the Deltopia effort. “It’s not just an administration message. The UCSB student leadership is on the same page as we are.”

More information about the university’s progress in integrating Isla Vista into the campus’s greater planning and outreach efforts can be found in UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang’s recent message to the campus community, at

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