<b>SPITBALLING:</b> Town hall participants took turns proposing ways to give a voice to Isla Vista residents.

Kelsey Brugger

SPITBALLING: Town hall participants took turns proposing ways to give a voice to Isla Vista residents.

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Isla Vista?

UCSB Student Government Hosts Town Hall Forum

Thursday, July 24, 2014
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The burning question of what to do about Isla Vista remained largely unanswered after a town hall forum at Santa Barbara Hillel on Monday night. At issue is the lack of governing power in the unincorporated college community made up of 23,000 residents and the more than 5,000 students who live on UCSB’s campus but often party in the college town. A fair amount of disagreement exists among involved players as to the kind of self-governing entity that could or even should be implemented, a topic that dates back decades.

During the forum — which was headed by UCSB Associated Students — representatives from the county, Santa Barbara and Goleta city officials, Isla Vista residents, and members of the faith community stood up to give their two cents. “Right now, [Associated Students] tries to represent [Isla Vista], but it only represents the 10,000 UCSB students,” said Jonathan Abboud, former student body president and UCSB graduate. Another few thousand residents attend SBCC. A representative from SBCC was missing from the discussion on Monday, a fact pointed out by Isla Vista Food Co-op representative Ashley Audycki, who likened the discussion to the market’s model: “We wanted self-governance over our food.”

Talk about how to fix some of Isla Vista’s underlying issues first took center stage after the Deltopia riots in April, and university administrators who had historically turned a blind eye on the rambunctious town perked up. Gung-ho students and other activists want the self-governing plans to go as far as councils with taxing powers or even cityhood. But others are quick to point out that is an unlikely and expensive option. Several vouched for the midrange possibility of a Municipal Advisory Council, which the county and UCSB partially financially supported in the ’70s but pulled the money from in the ’80s.

A host of tangible matters ​— ​sidewalks, lighting, fencing, and general community services ​— ​will continue to be hashed out aside from the self-government issue. Supervisor Doreen Farr, who represents Isla Vista, told the audience that regardless of any changes, the county would continue to cover social services like mental health. Abboud acknowledged Farr’s efforts to work with stakeholders but added that he had deferred grad school to stay in Isla Vista one more year to work on giving a voice to residents. “The more local you get, the better.”


Independent Discussion Guidelines

How ridiculous is this?
"A representative from SBCC was missing from the discussion on Monday..."
City College is culpable as any entity for the lack of civility in IV.

loganwc (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2014 at 9:35 a.m. (Suggest removal)

How do you stop a wave upon the sand?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2014 at 10:33 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Most news media pointed the finger at UCSB while the recent mass murderer came to Isla Vista and rented student-oriented housing as an SBCC student. Since UCSB is moving more students on campus opening up even more Isla Vista housing opportunties for out of town SBCC students, SBCC should very much be at the table so they understand the local impacts of their continued pro-growth enrollment policies.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2014 at 11:26 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Yes ridiculous is just what i was thinking.
Isla Vista is not the problem.... it's the world where all the students, residents and visitors come from. The society we live in is so guided by lies, double standards, corruption that a young persons first independent experiences out in the world and close to what social really means are a shock that can take years to adjust into.... There are pit falls, some don't make it.

Ridiculous that authorities of law, journalism, justice and education want to blame isla vista and other similar things instead of uprooting the problems with the real truths.

jazzifier (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2014 at 11:29 a.m. (Suggest removal)

SBCC is the main provider of IV's problems, yet the least accountable for its student's actions. Any wonder why they ain't at the table? They could care less as long as the dough keeps rolling in and those bond measures pass.

On a funny note, I have talked with people in IV and there's a HUGE misconception of "self governance" some share.
While there are those that know the responsibilities that come with self-governance, there are those that think it means IV will be a free-for-all.
They seem to feel that the open container & noise ordinance laws will be repealed, underage drinking will be allowed and that parties can spill out into the streets unchecked. Silly children!
Self governance makes you even more accountable than before and thus things will get stricter in terms of law enforcement because now said municipality will be held to it.
If this is what self governance brings, BRING IT ON! The place needs a revamp, make it happen because what's currently in place is NOT working.
Make it undesirable for the douchies to live there and the douchies go away. Take the wind out of their sails.

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2014 at 12:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

IV is always going to be a college party town. The surrounding community should be grateful that the college partying is mostly contained to IV and is not in their neighborhood.

College students have fake IDs, have friends who are 21+ and so minors will always be able to obtain alcohol very easily. When they started enforcing the no serving alcohol to minors ordinance in IV, which was less than 10 years ago, we have yet to see a drop in alcohol consumption or partying. All we have seen is that the alcohol consumption takes place behind closed doors with less people and this has still not lead to an overall decrease in alcohol consumption, in fact it appears to have lead to an increase in the alcohol consumption rate since they cannot spread out their alcohol consumption when attending medium to large gatherings. There are also less keg parties with very low alcohol content beverages and more drinking of high alcohol content hard alcohol.

Stop enforcing the serving alcohol to minors ordinance, let there be keg parties. Not only is the law ineffective, it is tyrannical, anti-personal liberty and anti-private property rights. Some even believe this is leading to 4th amendment violations by undercover officers.

Don't enforce cannabis laws - this will also not encourage partiers not to drink as much.

Less jack booted thugs, more CSO officers. CSO officers, when they aren't required to enforce cannabis or drinking offenses, can be very useful to help spot crimes in progress and report them to the authorities quickly. If CSO officers are less concerned about 'busting' students and more concerned about their safety, the level of trust between students and CSO will increase and they can be used as a valuable resource to help get party goers home safely if they have lost their friends or have had too much to drink.

IV will never be 100% safe. Some day, somebody will fall off the cliff again and it will be very unfortunate. But to curtail everybody's rights and liberties is not the solution. To tell other people how to live is not the solution. Providing a safer environment with decent lighting and some innovative fencing are all good ideas which can help prevent some of these incidents.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2014 at 12:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

And proof once again you're SO out of touch with this thing called reality. Thanks again for the evidence!

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2014 at 1:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

blah, if you think I'm out of touch with reality based on the above post, then you must believe the following:

-IV will not always be a college party town (as long as UCSB remains open)

-Underage college students don't have fake IDs or friends over 21, so their only way to obtain alcohol would be at parties that serve alcohol, which are illegal and so underage students therefore do not drink at a very high rate compared to before when it was not enforced.

-Alcohol consumption and partying is down since they enacted the no serving alcohol to minors ordinance, therefore it is effective on top of being moral, constitutional, ethical and respectful of individual liberty.

-Police officers help maintain an aura of peace in the community and students trust them to watch over them without harming them.

If you believe any of those, you're the one out of touch. If not, then you must agree with me.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2014 at 1:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Hey Captain Obvious, it's not what you state about IV/UCSB that makes you out of touch with reality. It is simply the fact that you think all the "wrongs" will be made legal, underage drinking, noise ordinance, acting like a jackass, you know, douchebag behavior.
ANYWHERE you go in this county, or any other county for that matter, being a douchebag in a way that violates penal codes/ordinances will bring consequences on you, REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU BELIEVE.
So dream on little truther, reach for the chemtrails in the sky, you state the obvious problems, but wish for it to become the norm. Keep wishing on that star.
By the way, I actually DO hope pot laws DO go away, less douchebag behavior when people do pot.

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2014 at 5:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"Biggest party colleges in each state are ranked

Thursday - 7/24/2014

UC Santa Barbara students are familiar with festivities. The school ranked No. 1 on party school list with a perfect 10 score. The Golden State may need to be renamed The Party State after said the state was the home of the biggest party colleges.

Below are the 10 biggest party states followed by the top party school in the state, according to

California -- UC Santa Barbara - 10/10

Georgia -- University of Georgia - 9.87/10

Florida -- University of Florida - 9.72/10"

loonpt (anonymous profile)
July 25, 2014 at 11:11 a.m. (Suggest removal)

blah, I never said that the government is going to relent in IV, I am just saying that is the best thing for the students and community if they were to do it. It is a party town. Let them party. You don't have to legalize "jackass" or "douchebag" behavior, although as long as they don't hurt anybody or damage property people should be able to do what they want whether or not you think it is bad behavior.

By putting a heavy presence of law enforcement in IV, you garner a lot of distrust between authorities who are enforcing laws that don't make any sense and end up backfiring and making problems worse, like underage drinking / serving laws that cause students to drink large amounts of hard alcohol. Before these ordinances there was a lot of drinking, but it was more low alcohol content keg beer which is preferred by students when given the choice. Law enforcement isn't giving them the choice, so they turn to downing copious amounts of hard alcohol before going out and partying. Can you see how these laws backfire? Then you have special noise ordinances during large events which causes some party goers to become bored and go out on the street looking for havoc instead of socializing with friends or other partiers where there is music or alcohol being served.

We had several keg parties in the freshman Anacapa dorms when I went there and every dorm room had handles of alcohol. There would have been more beer in the dorms, but there were technically rules against drinking so again you can see how these rules end up backfiring and cause students to drink hard alcohol that is easier to hide and transport. I kept pretty good track and everybody I knew in my hall that I know of ended up graduating and I don't know anybody who dropped out, from my hall (heard about a couple guys from another hall). Every class that goes to UCSB is ready to work hard and party hard, they are going to want to drink and party their way through school because UCSB and IV is the perfect environment to do that. There is no other school in the country that has an environment as friendly to partying as UCSB and IV and that isn't going to change. I see no point in stopping it, it just makes things worse. On top of that it has gone on for decades and people still willingly signup and more importantly the academics at the school have been continually improving over the years.

So when there is that kind of distrust between law enforcement and the community, the community doesn't respect law enforcement. Law enforcement has a valid role in a community of helping to protect people from violence and theft, but when the community doesn't respect law enforcement because they focus on stupid laws like underage drinking, which actually does NOTHING to curb underage drinking, then when the cops have a valid situation to deal with they will be met with a large group of people who still do not respect them. This is a problem, a problem that is easy to resolve.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
July 25, 2014 at 11:33 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I'd also like to mention that I found out about the party school ranking article I linked to above from a guy in my dorm who posted it on his facebook page - he was very proud to have studied at 4 of the schools on the list and he has a PhD in Mathematics.

His parents happened to be fairly well-to-do - but imagine if they didn't have much money and he had been arrested simply for drinking alcohol as a minor in IV... imagine if the fines, court costs and lawyer fees forced him to drop out of school because he could no longer afford to be there. Then imagine him working his way up from an office temp and becoming a Manager instead of obtaining a PhD in Mathematics. Imagine the lives that are ruined EVERY WEEKEND by these asinine underage drinking laws!

You want to talk about the people who are doing bad things, but you don't talk about the good people who get caught up with law enforcement for no other reason than they happened to be drinking like EVERYBODY ELSE in the town does. You want to take a wild guess why Giselle Ayala fell off the cliff in IV? Well, I can't tell you for sure because I wasn't there, but based on the timeline and the testimony that she went to use a restroom just before cops came to break up the party, she probably found a place on the cliffs that was fairly private and probably saw the cops lurking around and got scared she would be arrested - then she would have to deal with all sorts of legal problems and the possibility of having to drop out of Cal Poly where she was probably having the time of her life. I think that caused her to freak out and try to hide or get away from the police and that is why she fell of the cliffs, and that is the best theory I have heard so far based on the evidence (I happened to come up with it... thank you, thank you..)

In fact, I did have a friend from another country whose parents were very wealthy and he was caught by police buying alcohol underage. His parents got him a really good lawyer, otherwise he may have been deported. He ended up finding his future wife in IV, graduated and now lives with his wife and owns a very nice house in the area....but imagine if he wasn't able to get a good lawyer and got deported?

Stop ruining innocent lives, it's time to end the madness and legalize freedom in IV.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
July 25, 2014 at noon (Suggest removal)

Years ago there was some serious, if discrete, discussions among UCSB executives regarding acquisition of large parts of Isla Vista. Eminent domain would be enacted in order to acquire the property in Isla Vista. I saw detailed drawings in the early 90's showing the UCSB footprint extending from the current campus. One version included only the south half of IV (from Pasado to Del Playa), and ending on the West at Devereux. The other incorporated the whole area south of El Colegio, excluding only Isla Vista School. As is true currently, the new expansion of UCSB campus of dorms and infrastructure would be used exclusively for UCSB students and faculty.

I've heard again recently that these plans have been refreshed. Who knows if this will ever occur, but it would be ironic if talk of self determination actually led to the disappearance of IV as we know it.

Simpleton (anonymous profile)
July 25, 2014 at 12:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"It would be ironic if talk of self determination actually led to the disappearance of IV as we know it."

Thanks for the info, but it wouldn't be the talk of self determination that is leading to this, it would be the tyrannical laws against students and the police causing riots that is leading to this. There was no reason why a riot needed to happen during Deltopia, it was all manufactured. In fact, they could be trying to manufacture these type of incidents on purpose just so they can re-hash these plans you are talking about to buy everything up.

But even if they did do that, UCSB would still be a party school. As I said, we had several keg parties in the dorms on campus at UCSB. The RAs actually gave us instruction on when we could have them, based on several RAs being gone on a certain weekend or whatever. I remember at the end of the year, we bought our RA a hookah with a style of glass bowl on top that was meant for cannabis. They told everybody they were going to buy him a Playstation, so everybody chipped in $5 and they got him a hookah for smoking herb. Just because it is a campus dorm doesn't mean they have complete control over everything. In fact, as they increase the number of students living in dorms they will have less control over them.

All they would do is destroy the character that IV has currently.. And if they threatened to tear down Del Playa and install classrooms or administrative buildings, you can bet there will be a riot and protests like no other. In fact, I'll bet you would get UCSB alumni going back decades who would come to protest something like that.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
July 25, 2014 at 1:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The difference between now and decades past is SBCC. The population of CC students in IV has grown dramatically. City College should be held responsible by some means.

I agree with the loon regarding law enforcement. More policing can cause more problems, especially when it is heavy handed and heavily armed. More CSO is good though. Relaxing enforcement on alcohol would be an improvement except for the problem of uninvited guests.

Here's an idea, let UCSB take responsibility for enforcement for UCSB students. When the cops come across a drunk in public or open container, the student shows UCSB ID and get's turned over to CSO.

Maybe make minor infractions by UCSB students the jurisdiction of CSO, so with a UCSB ID, the cops hand it off to CSO. The CSO then looks out for the student's safety but applies no criminal charges.

Parents should be happy with that.

random_kook (anonymous profile)
July 25, 2014 at 2:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Here's a solution..... Ban all alcohol sales and consumption in IV..... that should help! We can call it "IV DRY"

retprotector (anonymous profile)
July 26, 2014 at 11:44 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The way the drought is going might as well call it Dry IV. Used to be no alcohol sales within a certain distance from UC campuses. Good regulation to bring back considering the IV party scene and the negative impacts it has on UCSB's scholastic reputation. Hate to see future employers give a pass to UCSB grads because of the multi-causation IV mess reputation. UCSB students and alumni association need to do more to protect their name..

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 26, 2014 at 2:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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