Every once in a while, people really get down on UCSB and I.V. They start talking about our STD rates – which, for the record, are on par with most other college campuses across the nation – or bag on our party-hardy mentality. They say Isla Vista is a dump for the scum of America. Despite what the nay-sayers believe, I still have three reasons I’m thrilled to call myself a Gaucho and Isla Vistan.

We kick butt at f°tbol

Nicki Arnold
Paul Wellman

Did you happen to catch the UCSB-Cal Poly men’s soccer game last Friday? The Gauchos traveled 100 miles up Highway 101 to wrangle the Mustangs on their home turf. Hype surrounding the game was at its peak and 11,075 fans showed up, including a few dozen dedicated Gaucho Locos. Cal Poly is the closest thing UCSB has to a rival, so tensions were high.

After 90 minutes of regular play and 10 minutes of overtime, the score remained nil-nil. But just 10 seconds after the sudden-death overtime round began, Chris Pontius bombed the ball into the back of the net. Game, set, match! Wait, wrong sport : Ah, whatever, Gaucho victory! On Monday, I could still feel adrenaline on campus from such a high-stakes win.

The next Gaucho-Mustang throw down happens on Wednesday, November 5, in Harder Stadium. We’re aiming to get at least 11,076 fans, so come on down wearing your blue and gold. The more, the merrier.

We vote

November 5 will be a momentous day not only for Gaucho soccer fans but for political junkies as well, because by then the election will have finally reached its end. Needless to say for those living in such a liberal California town, many Isla Vistans will be breathing a sigh of relief that Bush will be out.

UCSB students and various other political activists have been volunteering like mad to get everyone registered to vote. Last weekend, the Campus Democrats threw a party aptly named “Liberals and Jello Shots and the Voter Registration Deadline, OH MY!” I have faith that you can guess the sort of activities we partook in.

Students and community members alike have been filling out those long forms by the thousands. Political canvassers have been knocking on Isla Vista doors for at least the past month carrying voter registration forms, making sure everyone who wants to register gets a chance. At noon on the final day of registration this past Monday, UCSB had about 9,000 students registered, which is the most UCSB has ever had and we’ve been the leader in voters registered for the past five years.

MySpace is currently holding a contest called “The Ultimate College Bowl” for colleges across the U.S. The winner with the most registered voters gets a concert featuring Death Cab for Cutie. Although the contest isn’t officially over, UCSB has pulled out way in front and I’m quite looking forward to bopping along to “I Will Follow You” with my friends in the near future.

We throw a great party

Halloween in Isla Vista. Quit shuddering in disgust. Yes, it’s our biggest party of the year. Yes, some people will prance down the street with their asses hanging out of too-small skirts. Yes, some people will get absolutely smashed and throw up on Del Playa Drive. But just because we – ahem – indulge ourselves one weekend doesn’t mean we’re bad people. Have you ever just wanted to stop worrying about what everyone thought of you, get naked, and run down the street? Well, that’s what I get to do on October 30, 31, and November 1!

Aside from trite costumes such as slutty (insert random animal here), I love the ingenuity we college kids have when it comes to Halloween costumes. If you want to see creativity at its finest, I again invite you to our nook of the county, this time to have a gander at our various get ups.

Also, the police do a great job of keeping everything under control. Giant flood lights are set up on Del Playa, extra police officers roam throughout I.V. each night, and an emergency medical tent is usually set up not too far from all the action. I actually rarely feel as safe in I.V. as I do on Halloween weekend.

Sure, I get upset at the out-of-towners for the way they trash our town. But I can forgive them. They only get to experience I.V. for one weekend and they have no idea how to handle themselves in such a paradise.

These next two weeks promise to be full of intellectual debates, astounding athleticism, and unsurpassed good times. Come and join us for a soccer match or a night out on the town.

Go on, live a little, Isla Vista-style.


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