Curbing alcohol violations in Isla Vista was a central theme at yesterday’s I.V. Commission meeting, as various university administrators, county officials and students discussed extending the university’s jurisdiction into I.V. and the possible relocation of the annual All-Sorority Volleyball Tournament.
At yesterday’s meeting, IVC members discussed a possible Campus Regulations Review Committee proposal to begin punishing students for offenses occurring in I.V., such as the furnishing of alcohol to minors, illegal drug sales and arson. Although the review committee has yet to discuss the possible revision, IVC members spoke on the issue in response to an unusual number of students present at the meeting, who were concerned with the topic.
The IVC also discussed relocating the annual ASVT because of alleged problems with capacity, as well as the Santa Barbara County’s upcoming Draft Environmental Impact Report analyzing the I.V. Master Plan and six alternative I.V. redevelopment plans.
IVC co-chair and mechanical & environmental engineering professor Walter Yuen said IVC would not make a decision regarding the extension of university jurisdiction in I.V. at the meeting.
“This is an issue I’m going to defer to Student Affairs,” Yuen said. “The I.V. Commission is not going to speak about it.”
However, Yuen did say later that he would prefer to see safety and the quality of life in Isla Vista improve.
“I really would like to be more proactive in changing Isla Vista,” Yuen said. “We have this long-term vision of how we’re going to change I.V., and that’s going to take time.”
Dean of Students Yonie Harris said the Student-Faculty Conduct Committee – which can suspend or expel students in violation of university policies – would use the extended jurisdiction policy very carefully.
“What we’re proposing to do is include explicitly … arson and providing alcohol to minors and sales or provision of illegal substances to other people,” Harris said. “We look at each case … [and ask] does this behavior pose a threat to the campus community? … We try to let the criminal justice system handle as much as we can.”
Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Michael Young also said the university would only review specific cases.
“We’re only looking at egregious provisions of alcohol to minors,” Young said. “Stuff that really crosses the line.”
Young said after the meeting that the university is prioritizing students’ safety.
“If something happens in I.V. that threatens the health and safety of community, then we have to take action,” Young said. “Our concern is safety. … We’re not interested in policing the morals of students.”
IVC Co-chair and physics professor Harry Nelson said the university should consider the effectiveness of extending its jurisdiction and analyzing alternatives to help the community.
“Is it practical to enforce?” Nelson said. “Do we end up suspending 100 students a quarter? We should focus on things that really make a difference. My own personal feeling is we all have to get going on infrastructural issues like everyone walking on [the] street. … What’s the legitimacy of extending jurisdiction when we have all these other problems? We really need help from the students to know where the boundary really is.”
Supervisor Brooks Firestone’s director of special projects Kris Miller-Fisher said after the meeting that she has received many e-mails and concerns from I.V. residents about alcohol-related crimes.
“Most students at the university are well-behaved,” Miller-Fisher said. “Yet the crime rates are a lot higher than anywhere else in the county.”
The IVC also discussed problems that occurred at this year’s ASVT. Harris said I.V. Foot Patrol officers made 54 arrests during the annual volleyball tournament, but that only 21 were UCSB students. She said the event was overcrowded.
“It’s a capacity issue,” Harris said. “They’ve outgrown the venue. … The size of the groups that turned out were unexpectedly large.”
Director of Greek Affairs Stephan Franklin said he was unsure where organizers would hold the event next year.
“We have no idea at this time,” Franklin said. “In the last three years it was at Greek Park and partially on campus.”
Franklin said other venues such as East Beach are under consideration, but locations such as the beaches surrounding I.V. are difficult to play volleyball in.
“It’s really hard to have anything on the beach because you have to play into the tides,” Franklin said.
The commission also discussed the county’s Draft Environmental Impact Report concerning redevelopment in Isla Vista. Miller-Fisher said the document contains 13 categories analyzing the environmental impacts of each I.V. redevelopment plan.
Nelson said it is important for students to review the proposed plans as they can have varying effects on the community and environment. The plan is located online at www.ivrda.org.