The presence of law enforcement seems to be minimizing activity in the neighborhood.
A friar downing a can of beer. Aladdin and Jasmine without a magic carpet. And many, many Gauchos in search for a party, perhaps in vain.
These were the sights that Isla Vista’s Del Playa Drive (DP) offered Thursday night on Halloween, as folks descended upon the street in droves with high hopes, only to quickly leave with disappointed plastered across their faces after their eyes spotted several police officers and deputies. Three jail trucks were even parked on the street, menacingly reminding students that if they stepped out of line, their future Snapchat stories could be from inside the trucks.
A calm air blanketed DP Thursday, a calm much too uncharacteristic for the street. The students hunting for a gathering on DP, however, were seeing the effects of an enforcement that many students label as a crackdown. A senior studying sociology, who decided to go by the alias “Kristen” out of fear of retaliation for speaking on the matter, is one of these students who label the enforcement as such. Kristen, however, view the enforcement as positive on the IV community.
“I remember Halloween when people were passed out on the streets, and I wondered if they were still alive,” Kristen told the News-Press. “Since the crackdown, there’s been less of that.”
The decision to give IV extra attention during Halloween came from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office about half a decade ago. Around this time, attention was also placed on Deltopia, the famous social event that takes place at UCSB in the springtime. The attention and restrictions placed on Deltopia had even sparked protests from students in the past. As for the students Thursday night, they did not seem to be in the protesting mood. When no party was present on DP, they moved to somewhere out of the eyes of law enforcement: Sabado Tarde Road, adjacent to DP. Here, there was more activity, where, yes, even a friar was downing a can of beer before hopping into a car with friends.
There was a considerable amount of students, however, for whom it was just another regular Thursday night. At the coffee shops, these students sipped on their drinks, typing away on their computers. Others seemed to be going home, riding their bicycles with no hands, or worse: while texting. IV seems to be becoming a place where not as many students are partying it up like back in the days.