The Angry Poodle Barbecue’s latest idea about putting Isla Vista in Goleta should be debated, but the repeated descriptions of I.V. as a financial black hole occupied by barbarian hordes sabotages the idea. The reality is the opposite: I.V. is a real estate gold mine where minimal county services and oversight allow the financial exploitation of students who live in overcrowded, under-maintained conditions that actively obstruct their education. The typical UCSB student got straight As in high school and wants to study a field that will help them change the world for the better. I have taught 10,000 of them, and I know this from direct experience.
I.V., like UCSB, is a huge financial contributor to the city and county, and the column’s bigoted stereotypes of the people who live there encourage Santa Barbarans to ignore the real problems I.V. residents face, and to repress how our own bias and complacency helps make them worse.
Like all small cities in this global economy, Santa Barbara is going to have to do some new things. The old-school contempt for the largest, most dynamic, most cosmopolitan institution in the county will hold the city back.