Isla Vista, CA, April 7, 2014– What happened the night of April 5th 2014 in Isla Vista was tragic and the students of UCSB are in part to blame for it. Any large event held in such an unofficial capacity is doomed to end in chaos. We, the Associated Students Executive Officers of UCSB mourn the injury of six dedicated law enforcement officers and countless community members.
We believe UCSB and UCSB students must take responsibility for the events of April 5th 2014. In this spirit it is our belief that part of taking responsibility is calling for more information rather than less, asking for more student involvement rather than less, and asking for more work in Isla Vista by the County and local stakeholders rather than less.
The time has come for a new process by which we address major events in Isla Vista, even those that are not officially sanctioned by the County or the University. The community must be a part of the emergency services planning process. If we give residents of Isla Vista a stake in the preservation of their own safety and their own community we will improve the outcomes of first responder’s efforts.
In no way is this a unilateral critique of the response of Isla Vista Foot Patrol and others on the night of April 5th, but we do have a stake in knowing what happened, when it happened, and why it happened. The community at large, including the rest of Santa Barbara County deserve to know. We will be requesting a Civil Grand Jury Investigation into the events of April 5th. This is in no way motivated by malice towards any stakeholder or party. We simply think that the more information we have on this event the better equipped we will be to prevent it from ever happening again.
Once again we mourn the unnecessary injury, damage to property, and damage to public safety and health that occurred from the night of April 5th. We hope that these efforts could lead to the alleviation of crises in Isla Vista that require resources from neighboring communities. It is in the interest of no one to have emergency responders leaving their original area of responsibility to work in Isla Vista on a moment’s notice.
In the end we want to work on the issues underlying this event year round, not just during a time of crisis. We call for an investigation into the events of April 5th because whatever we are currently doing to ensure the safety of Isla Vista and its residents is inadequate and this is clearly a moment in which we can change Isla Vista for the better. When the investigation is concluded we look forward to working with all of Isla Vista’s stakeholders to improve the health and safety of our community.