Skip to main content

Author: Brendan L

Conservation is Critical to Extending Santa Barbara County’s Water Supply

On January 17th, 2014 it was declared that California was in a state of emergency caused by drought. California’s Governor has asked all residents to reduce their water use. Santa Barbara County has joined the State in declaring a drought emergency and has asked for a 20% reduction in water usage.

Coinciding with the State’s and the County’s efforts, we ask you to please be mindful of your water usage. We appreciate your personal efforts in helping our community reduce our water use as a whole.

Here are some things to think about when you are using water, which can assist in our conservation efforts:

  • When brushing your teeth, don’t let the faucet flow. Use a glass of water for rinsing your teeth.
  • Wait until you have a full load of laundry before you do a load. You’ll save water, energy, and money for laundry.
  • One way to cut down on water use is to turn off the shower after soaping up, then turn it back on to rinse. A four-minute shower uses approximately 20 to 40 gallons of water.
  • Report any water related maintenance issues immediately to the Tropicana Front Desk. 

Together we can conserve and extend Santa Barbara County’s limited water supply.

Tropicana Student Housing Welcomes Michael Jordan Flight School

Santa Barbara, CA – August 1, 2013 – Tropicana Student Housing is proud to welcome Michael Jordan Flight School 2013 basketball camps for the 18th year. Campers, who range in age from 7-18, will be staying at Tropicana Gardens and Tropicana Del Norte residence halls. With its convenient proximity to the UCSB Thunderdome, Tropicana’s residence halls are within easy walking distance for the campers, with suite-style accommodations and an on-site Café for meals.

“Every year, I am so excited to work with the Michael Jordan Flight School and their staff. They are so professional, organized and they really work hard for all their participants to have such a great experience.” said David Wilcox, Executive Director. “I believe this is why they have so many participants that come back every year!”

Mark Raveling, Michael Jordan Flight School Camp Director, says, “We have been hosting the MJ camp at Tropicana and UCSB since 1995 and always look forward to coming back each year. We are excited for our 18th year.”

Michael Jordan Flight School is among the world’s finest youth basketball camps, where girls and boys can learn the fundamentals of shooting, dribbling, rebounding, passing, and defense from NBA great, Michael Jordan, and his first class coaching staff. For more information, see the Michael Jordan Flight School website.

About Tropicana Student Housing

Tropicana Student Housing offers residence hall and apartment living to more than 1,000 students attending the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) and Santa Barbara City College (SBCC). Tropicana Del Norte Residence Hall caters to UCSB freshmen; Tropicana Gardens offers SBCC students a college residential living experience and the Villas at Tropicana is an upperclassman apartment community. Tropicana is the Official Student Housing Sponsor of UCSB Athletics.

Tropicana Student Housing provides accommodations for more than 90 summer camps annually. Camp directors love Tropicana’s convenient locations to the UCSB campus, including the Thunderdome, pools, gyms and baseball, softball, soccer and lacrosse fields. Summer campers enjoy furnished suite-style accommodations with meals included at a dining hall right on the premises. For more information on hosting a summer camp, contact Dave Wilcox, Executive Director at (805) 968-4319 or

Getting Around Town – The Ins and Outs of Transportation for UCSB Students

When you first move to UCSB, getting around in general is going to be perplexing because you don’t know where you’re going. However, knowing how to get around in certain areas will DEFINITELY make a huge difference in your life, and reduce a lot of that needless stress.

When you first move to UCSB, getting around in general is going to be perplexing because you don’t know where you’re going. However, knowing how to get around in certain areas will DEFINITELY make a huge difference in your life, and reduce a lot of that needless stress.

One thing that I learned right away is that if you are living at Tropicana Del Norte, or really anywhere in IV, and you’re going to UCSB, a car is a complete hassle. My first night I needed to go to pick up some odds and ends from Isla Vista Market, and a couple of my new roomies wanted to come with me. Being from a town where parking was abundant and everyone just drove everywhere no matter what the distance, I decided to drive there from Trop. What would have been a nice and brisk 5-minute bonding stroll with my roommates turned in to a 45-minute hassle because there was absolutely zero parking available next to Isla Vista Market! How far was it from Trop? Less than 5 blocks. It was definitely a Freshman mistake that I suggest you not repeat. Isla Vista is less than one square mile, and nearly all restaurants and shops are centrally located within the 10 block radius.

One way you can save money on gas if you do bring your car is carpooling with friends and splitting the costs of driving. Carpooling to pick up a few things to decorate your living room is a great way to save on gas, as well as bond with your roommates! Carpooling will likely come in especially handy when you start making your plans to head home for Thanksgiving or Winter Break. You’ll be making tons of friends here at Tropicana, and there’s a good likelihood that you’ll meet someone who is headed the same direction as you are.

You may be asking yourself about getting around to shops and restaurants that are not in the Isla Vista area, such as K Mart, Bed Bath and Beyond, or Costco in Goleta, or Santa Barbara’s downtown shopping at the Paseo Neuvo Mall. One of the best things about being a UCSB student is the unlimited access to public transportation via the MTD Bus system. When you arrive to UCSB, make sure that one of your first stops is the UCEN. You can take your Student ID Photo and pick up your ID card right on the spot! You’ll also receive a sticker that shows that you are currently enrolled, which will grant you access to any bus, any time of day. Check out the Bus Schedule here:

Riding a bicycle is…well…just like riding a bicycle! You never really forget how to ride one, but you may need to brush up on your skills. Upperclassmen at UCSB, who are seasoned pros when it comes to riding their beach cruisers and fixies, can spot a freshman cycler a mile away. Good thing too, since it’s unlikely the first week of school will be fender bender free with the amount of traffic at the roundabout bicycle intersections. My recommendation is to take a bit of time the week before classes start to refresh your coordination and reaction time, before heading into full on bicycle traffic.

Pro skater? Syck bro! You can get around just about everywhere on campus on your skateboard, BUT you have to be mindful of how you get around. Skateboards don’t belong on the bike path. Many parts of campus have a designated skateboarding zone on the sidewalk specifically for boarders, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding room to skate when you’re on your way to class.

Tropicana Del Norte is less than five minutes walking distance to most things on campus, as well as IV. Sometimes it’s nice to stop and smell the birds of paradise.

When you’re heading home for breaks and long weekends, you may want to take a train ride, or fly if timing is a factor. Luckily there is an Amtrak train station a short bus ride away on Hollister in Goleta, as well as an airport right in UCSB’s backyard. For information about the train and to buy your ticket online, check out their website: For information on flights out of Santa Barbara Airport, check them out here:

Tropicana Del Norte Announces Apple iPad® Sweepstakes Winner

Isla Vista, CA – June 25, 2013 –Tropicana Del Norte announced the winner of its Apple iPad sweepstakes this week. The lucky winner was Edward Gaspar of Huntington Beach, California, who entered for a chance to win an Apple iPad after taking a tour of Tropicana Del Norte Residence Hall for UCSB Students. Gaspar is a Group Lead for Logistics at JC Penney. His daughter, Cynthia, a Southeast High School graduate, will be the first member of the family to attend UCSB as a freshman next year. She is undecided, but may major in Biology.

“We were delighted to give Mr. Gaspar and his family a tour of Tropicana Del Norte Residence Hall, said Dave Wilcox, Executive Director , “and we hope that he enjoys his new ipad.”

Winner Gaspar said he will share the iPad with his family. “I am so surprised; I never win anything!”

Tropicana Del Norte Residence hall, at 6525 El Colegio Road, Goleta , is located directly adjacent to UCSB’s main campus. Tropicana provides UCSB freshmen and continuing students with suite-style living and an unlimited dining plan. In addition to the onsite café, rec room and 24-hour study lounge, Tropicana Del Norte offers UCSB students amenities not found in a typical dorm: an onsite fitness center, private movie theater, heated pool and a tanning lounge. To schedule a tour, visit or call (805) 968-0351.

Tropicana Gardens Residence Hall Welcomes Kobe Basketball Academy

Santa Barbara, CA – July 10, 2013 – Tropicana Gardens is proud to welcome Kobe Basketball Academy for its 2013 summer camp. This year, Tropicana will be providing housing for over 600 participants, who range in age from 8-18. With its convenient proximity to the UCSB Thunderdome, Tropicana Gardens is in easy walking distance for the campers, with suite-style accommodations and an on-site Café in its residence hall.

“Being a basketball fan myself, I am excited that Tropicana Gardens is again hosting Kobe Bryant’s amazing camp this summer,” said David Wilcox, Executive Director. “The kids love that they get to meet Kobe and get a signature from him while attending the camp.”

Zellie Hudson, Kobe Basketball Academy Camp Director, says, “We look forward to another great year at UCSB and Tropicana Gardens.”

Kobe Basketball Academy was founded in 2006. For more information, see the Kobe Basketball Academy website.

Tropicana Gardens residence hall is just blocks from UCSB’s main campus. During the academic year, Tropicana Gardens provides Santa Barbara City College students a campus residence hall living experience with furnished suites, and an unlimited dining plan and a direct bus to SBCC. Tropicana Gardens is known for its exceptional student life programs, its lush resort-style setting and amenities such as a heated pool, fitness room, rec room and 24-hour study lounge.

What is a Resident Assistant in College?

A Resident Assistant (RA) is a peer who makes sure that your residence hall community is safe, fun, and academically conducive place to live for you and your neighbors. They work to make your overall experience at Tropicana Del Norte a positive one. As a former RA, I’ll be completely truthful; it isn’t easy. Being an RA was one of the most challenging, yet enriching, experiences of my life. I met so many people from diverse backgrounds, and I like to hope that I made a positive change in their life by making their freshmen year a memorable and fulfilling experience.

There are three basic things that all RAs are responsible for: building community, peer counseling, and community standards.

  1. Building Community. RAs are a conduit for bringing residents together and sparking friendships. Coming to Santa Barbara, you’ll likely not know anyone, and that’s okay. Your RAs job is to put on fun, social, and educational programs and events where you can meet your neighbors and build relationships. Have a special interest? Tell your RA and work with them to put on a program or event.

  2. Peer Counseling. Not seeing eye-to-eye with your roommate? Unsure about where to buy your books? Looking to find out more about getting involved at Trop? You RA can help! RAs are your go-to guide and peer advisor, here to help you establish your new life as a student here at UCSB. They’ve been here for a year or more already, so they’ve already gone through a lot of the things you’re going through now. Take advantage of their valuable knowledge.

  3. Community Standards. RA’s help maintain the safety and academic atmosphere of our building, ensuring that laws and our residence hall community standards (such as quiet hours and alcohol/drug policies) are being followed. When the RAs perform community walks at various times throughout the night, they would like to make it a social visit, just stopping by to say hi. Invite your RA in and get to know them!

You can read the Tropicana policies in our Residence Hall Handbook. Think of your home as your safe haven where you and your roommates can study and sleep in peace. All other activities that are not conducive to an academic environment should be done elsewhere.

Tropicana Student Living Residence Life Staff 2012 – 2013

Your Resident Assistant won’t be a cookie cutter stereotype; each RA is different and colors the role with his or her own personality. Each individual will bring something different to the table. For example, some RAs are really creative and great at arts and crafts, while other RAs love to play sports. Each one bonds with people differently, but the common thread is that your RA wants to connect with you and help you connect to others.