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Isla Vista: Partying With a Purpose?

UCSB Student Attempts to Re-Invent College Revelry


Kayvon Firouzi was born in Iran, and lived there for 18 years, before moving to Sacramento. He spent two years at junior college, and is currently finishing up his fourth year as a business economics major at UCSB. His Facebook profile lists the following activities and interests: “Making new connections. Meeting people. Drinking/quitting drinking. Studying. Watching movies. Road tripping. Traveling. Making new things. Talking politics/taxation/banking. More traveling. More movies. Movies. Girls who can keep up an intellectual conversation. Soccer. Money. Family. Traveling.” Kayvon favors house music and alternative/pop punk. He likes Entourage and Californication.” He is single, his birthday is in May, and he has spent the better part of the quarter trying to change the way Isla Vista parties.

Last Saturday, Kayvon threw “Drink For A Cure,” a combination party and concert at a complex of houses on Del Playa Drive. The event was sponsored by companies like Bravo Condoms, Fuzion Glass and Clothing and Greencoast Hydroponics, and over 600 people RSVPed through Facebook to attend. Entrance to the event was free for girls, and boys were encouraged to bid on wristbands guaranteeing them admission. At the party, UCSB alum and burgeoning local celebrity Sabatage performed his song “I.V.” - a little number made locally-famous when he opened for Hieroglyphics at The Hub on campus at UCSB a few months ago.

Drink For A Cure cost $2,000 to throw, and garnered $1,000 in wristband sales and donations. Firouzi’s intention was to donate proceeds from the party to Product (Red) , a company created by Bono and Bobby Shriver which partners with companies to produce products bearing the (Red) logo. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of those products is then donated to the Global Fund, which buys necessary medicines and supplies for women and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa. “I think it’s important to know, as consumers and more importantly, as people who are wealthy enough to live in California, what our dollars can do, and what effects they can have on the world,” Firouzi said.

Although the party did not raise the amount of money Firouzi initially intended it to, he said he is still happy to have thrown it, and he said he wants to do it again. “The event cost us $2,000, so we did not have enough to donate actual cash after the event, but we are happy to raise awareness about Product (Red),” Firouzi said.

Although next time he may budget the event differently, Firouzi said he still thinks he succeeded in starting what he hopes will be a growing trend in the Isla Vista party scene. With more students turning to sponsored parties as a way of upping the all-nighter ante, and companies like Rockstar, Redbull, Monster and Sobe fill up revelers’ red cups, Firouzi said he hopes people will start seeing the connection between social consumerism and social consciousness. As parties in I.V. get bigger, better and more expensive, Firouzi says he sees no point why students and sponsors can’t team up to do something good for the world while they do very bad things to their livers. “The point of the party was to take partying to the next level, the same way the Product (Red) company took consumption to the next level by having a portion of the items sold go directly towards the Global Fund,” Firouzi said.

Will I.V. residents ever be willing to throw down money like they throw down shots on a Saturday night? Only time will tell if carousing for a cause catches on like Redbull Vodka or goes the way of the ill-fated Cuervo and Cola commercials. And, as a graduating senior, time is the one thing I don’t have on my side. So here’s to hoping I.V. proves Drink For A Cure right, and here’s a raise of my red cup to the Kayvons out there who are trying to make it happen.

In the meantime, you can go to joinred.com to find out more information about Product (Red), the products they offer and how to purchase them.

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