A UCSB committee may decide this fall to extend the university’s jurisdiction in Isla Vista on matters pertaining to student alcohol and drug citations, leading to campus-directed conduct hearings and punishments.
The Campus Regulations Review Committee, which meets every four years to revise campus policies, will discuss the extended jurisdiction, among many other evaluations. Once the committee has completed its full review, the revised policies will be subject to a public forum and later reviewed by the university’s Office of the General Counsel and by Chancellor Henry T. Yang.
Associate Dean of Students Joseph Navarro said he believes the committee will discuss further extension of the university’s jurisdiction in I.V. to include citations regarding the furnishing of alcohol to minors and the selling of illegal drugs.
“Some administrators are interested in adding these,” Navarro said. “I think the whole increase in alcohol abuse over the last several years has something to do with it. … I think it’s just an attempt to make UCSB a safer place.”
The committee may also discuss extending the university’s jurisdiction to include arson charges because of the several couch burnings that occur each year, he said.
Chaired by the vice chancellor of student affairs, the review committee includes four undergraduate and two graduate students, as well as representatives from the Residence Hall Association, the Office of the Ombuds, Office of Student Life, Student Judicial Affairs and university staff.
The university first extended its jurisdiction into I.V. in August 2001, when it began subjecting students involved in crimes of physical abuse, sexual assault, sexual harassment and hazing to university hearings before the Student-Faculty Committee on Student Conduct, which can suspend or expel students.
Currently, the I.V. Foot Patrol sends the university its crime reports, which are used to determine whether UCSB students were involved in such crimes. In addition, the university sends a letter to the parents of students who are cited for alcohol violations off-campus, informing them of the incident. However, students cited for alcohol violations are not currently subject to a conduct hearing.
Navarro said a police or university investigation usually precedes hearings before the conduct committee.
Associated Students President Chaz Whatley, who sits on the review committee, said she disagrees with proposals to further extend UCSB jurisdiction.
“I don’t think the university should be extending its jurisdiction into I.V.,” Whatley said. “The university doesn’t want to have anything to do with Isla Vista … until it gets advantageous to them. What about sidewalks, parking, lights? … If they want to extend it, I want them to extend all jurisdiction. Don’t just come in and regulate drugs and alcohol.”
Although the review committee has yet to examine sections of the regulations book that govern student conduct, Associate Dean of Students Carolyn Buford said the board has met nearly every two weeks since Winter Quarter to discuss other matters. She said the review process usually takes close to a year and a half to complete.
The review committee can add regulations to UCSB but cannot change systemwide policies established by the University of California Office of the President, she said.
“We can be stricter on campus, but we can’t be less strict,” Buford said.
She said the review committee has thus far stuck to regulations regarding campus grounds and student groups. She said new revisions might include implemented scheduling for groups who want to table or hold events in the Arbor and Campus Green, which is located by the Physical Sciences Buildings. She said amplified sound will still remain prohibited from the Arbor.
“The Arbor can never be amplified because it disturbs classes,” Buford said.
Also under review is the use of temporary sandwich boards around campus, she said, as student groups and organizations tend to leave these up for entire quarters. Yet another revision would include scheduling for the use of the kitchen in the new Student Resource Building, which is currently under construction.
Buford said the meetings are usually pleasant.
“I have felt very positive about it,” she said. “I have really appreciated people’s ideas and we’ve been respectful to one another.”
Campus Regulations Review Committee member Neil Dipaola, a fourth-year philosophy and environmental science major, said he would like to address the UC’s current lack of policy regarding Facebook.com, which can be used by university officials to cite campus residence hall residents for alcohol and drug violations based on evidence from posted pictures.
Dipaola, who is the advocate general for the Office of the Student Advocate, said he is currently working with the UC Berkeley OSA to formulate a systemwide policy.
“In the absence of a policy, the schools can choose what they want to do with Facebook,” he said. “I want to set criteria on how they can browse.”
He said he would like to create a regulation that bars university officials from using private accounts to browse through the site. He said the university could have a UC account and would need to widely publicize its existence, so that students can take precautions such as removing scandalous photos or blocking the UC account.
Dipaola said the university could unfairly review images posted by students.
“Unfortunately, this way it’s just based on pictures, even though they would never hold up in court,” he said. “The student is guilty if [the hearing body is] 51 percent sure on the picture.”
When students are in violation of university policy, Assistant Judicial Affairs Coordinator Angela Tozier said, they rarely have an attorney or other representation at their hearing, specifically in relation to the Student-Faculty Committee on Student Conduct hearings.
“Students are required to represent themselves during a hearing,” Tozier said. “They may bring an attorney or other support person, but the role of that person is limited and the student must speak for themselves. I would guess only about one out of 10 students bring an attorney, but that’s just an estimate based on my experience.”
The Student-Faculty Committee on Student Conduct consists of four faculty members appointed by the Academic Senate, three undergraduates and one graduate student, where quorum is two faculty members and two students, she said.
“The committee usually hears about 40 [to] 60 cases a year,” Tozier said. “The most common infraction is internet plagiarism.”