In my grief following the news of the assaults that occurred in Isla Vista this last weekend, I came up with a couple of ideas that would enhance the security of students at UCSB. The ideas are actually extensions of programs already offered by UCSB. It seems to me that something has to be done to better protect students, so that they can party and have fun without the constant threat of being attacked. This is not the environment that should be attached to UCSB.
As an alternative to the I.V. party scene, why not host events on campus on a regular basis, like every Saturday night, that would feature local DJs and bands? Not the hugely expensive big-name shows, but local talent who want exposure. Sort of what The Hub does now, but for free, at least for UCSB students. The Hub would appear to be the best venue, and if these events gained traction and a larger venue was needed, well, there are other options on campus. I have to say though, that if The Hub were used, wouldn’t it be nice if the ground floor area (above The Hub) could be used, with the lounge chairs and tables, where students could talk and chill out? Refreshments, like water and juices would be readily available. And of course, CSO’s would be available to escorts students safely home. Perhaps a shuttle bus could ferry students back to I.V.
Should these events be for UCSB students only? This would probably be the easiest path. But then if you consider that lots of UCSB students have friends that are not UCSB students, you wonder how much interest there would be. But in my opinion, even a UCSB-only policy would be better than nothing, and it would certainly be worth a try. My other proposal, is to hire enough CSO’s that a couple dozen of them can be assigned to patrol the streets of I.V. on Friday and Saturday nights, and fewer on week nights, armed with their digital radios.
As for the additional funding these proposals would require, I would argue that providing a safe place for students to party (alcohol free) every week, would have priority over say, Extravaganza. But in any event, money should not be an issue here — it’s just too important.
Larry Zins is the IT manager in UCSB’s Media Arts and Technology department, as well as an alumni of UCSB.