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Students Step Up To Keep I.V. Halloween Safe

It’s that time of year when thousands of college-aged students flock to Isla Vista for Halloween, but this year some students are stepping up to help keep the partying safe.

Every October, the streets of Isla Vista are flooded with people in costumes. The party is so well-known, it attracts people from the outside area.

“Last year, my roommate had someone come from Montana just for Halloween. Literally came for two days,” said Mackenzie Long, a Santa Barbara City College student living in I.V.

With Halloween landing on a Thursday, law enforcement is gearing up for four days of over-the-top parties.

“Crowds are typically 15,000-30,000 people on any one given night, so we kind of expect that and we don’t think this year will be any different,” said Lt. Rob Plastino of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.

But this year, the locals will try to help control the chaos.

“We know we have to be responsible with as many people that are going to be here,” said Andrew Weis, who lives on Del Playa. “We have to be in our right mind and everything and watching out for our property.”

The Associated Students on campus also want to make sure students stay safe. For the first time this year, they will pay for fencing along all the open areas on Del Playa Dr. that lead to the cliffs.

The hope is to try to prevent any students from accidentally falling off the cliff, which has happened before.

“Last year two of my friends passed away by falling off the cliffs,” said Molly Morrison, a UCSB student.

Morrison is a part of the group Fence Isla Vista and said all the temporary barriers will have caution tape and glow-in-the-dark sticks warning the student of the danger.

“It’s really good that they’re taking the initiative to make sure those accidents don’t happen. A lot of people come down here,” said Steven Lopez, a UCSB student.

Another addition to the Halloween safety preparations, portable toilets with guards will be placed on Del Playa.

“That’s awesome because I’m tired of walking home having to use the bathroom,” said Jasmine Jordan, a Santa Barbara City College student.

It’s a plan that’s never been done before, but is a welcomed changed.

“It’s been about 10 years since I was assigned out in Foot Patrol before and I’ve seen a huge change in the attitudes of students wanting to be more socially responsible. I don’t really know where that comes from but I’ve got to give them credit,” said Plastino. “You know, I’ve had a lot of students come up to me and say, ‘Hey how can I help, how can I make a difference in the community?’ And this is just one show of that so very proud of them.”

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