Halloween at Isla Vista

“Students have donned costumes and flocked the streets among thousands of out-of-town visitors to wander from party to party and witness the flood of pedestrians, police and paramedics on Halloween weekend”

For many decades, Isla Vista has been the epicenter for Halloween since the mid-1960s. But it wasn’t until around the early 1980s when Halloween started to get out of hand. So many people would attend and get arrested for multiple reasons. From 1980-1985 the attendance for Halloween would increase by 1,000 each year and in 1985 it got to 10,000. The next year, the open container law was enforced, where one could not walk in public with an open bottle of alcohol. Even with this new law, the attendance rose up to 30,000, many coming from San Diego State University and the arrest rose to more than 1,000 with about 75 percent of the arrest were students from SDSU.

The following year, school officials tried persuading students to not come to Isla Vista for Halloween by setting up traffic control early in the day but it did not work at all. The attendance for this particular Halloween got to over 35,000 lives. At this point people would disobey the police and those who did not live in Isla Vista would leave the place trashed.

Fast forward to 1992, instead of the attendance decreasing it did the opposite, many colleges around the state showed up to Isla Vista. The next year, police enforced stricter laws for example, no loud music after 6 p.m., traffic stops around the city and and seizing costume props that can be used as weapons. With all these restrictions, the attendance fell to under 25,000 and the following two years to about 2,000.

Exactly a decade later, the attendance sparked back up to 40,000. Vice Chancellor of student affairs, Michael Young, said the reasons for this jump of attendance was because of social media, it made it easier to communicate. So in 2004, the program Keep It Safe, Keep It Local was created to persuade students to not invite outsiders. It helped a little as the attendance reached to about 25,000.

More recently, the attendance has been fairly low compared to past years. In fact, last year was one of the most peaceful Halloween celebration to occur. A huge role that played in this turnout was that the school managed to get Snoop Dogg to perform at the ThunderDome as an alternative to partying in Isla Vista.

This upcoming Halloween, I encourage and hope for us to have another peaceful Halloween. Maybe we can managed to get another popular artist to perform at the ThunderDome again. We do not want to give reasons to students at other colleges to be saying that all we do is party. We already have that party reputation and we should try to move away from it. We are more than just a party school, we are all here to get an education that well set us up for a great career in the future.