Monday, April 7, 2014

Spring Break Rears Its Ugly Head

unrest in Isla Vista created by non-UC-Santa Barbara students

A social media-promoted spring break gathering turned violent when a sheriff's deputy was hit in the head with a backpack filled with beer bottles in the UC-Santa Barbara off-campus residential area of Isla Vista. When an ensuing arrest was attempted, a riot erupted in which fires were started, traffic signs were removed, and projectiles were thrown at law enforcement officials. Law enforcement from neighboring Venture County was called in for reinforcement.  Hours later order was restored. Over one hundred arrests were made, and at least forty-four people were taken to a local hospital.

I'm quite familiar with the neighborhood, community, or whatever you'd care to call it, of Isla Vista. While I wouldn't willingly take my grandmother there, seedier places than Isla Vista exist within a ten-minute drive of my previous hometown, which is considered one of the safest communities in the U.S.

The spring break event -- what has become an annual street party dubbed "Deltopia," which allegedly morphed from the "Floatopia" spring break event of several years ago -- was attended primarily by high school students and students on spring break from institutions other than UCSB.  I'm sure there were UCSB student in attendance, but the majority have left the area for spring break. In this particular case, the reputation of UCSB students has been sullied by outsiders.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds scary! I remember something similar happened in 1989 near where I lived at the time. There was a big riot at Greekfest in Virginia Beach. I think it was racially motivated, though.