To the students that reside in Isla Vista:
What makes UC Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara City College such incredible places to study is the synergy of receiving a world-class education, with world-class scenery, in the midst of a world-class social scene. We have relinquished many of the things that we treasured and have allowed for the constant infringement upon our various rights and the self-proclaimed “right to party.” But, there is a threshold. Do not forget the student activism that has taken place within this community over the course of its inception.
I, as the author of this letter, encourage Isla Vista Residents to remain steadfast in your commitment to express yourselves in however you deem sufficient, whilst upholding appropriate safety precautions that are needed to ensure the wellbeing of others. Furthermore, the “out-of-towners” that are negatively spoken of during conversations regarding Isla Vista are invited by us into our community. Because of this, we need to exercise greater influence on who we solicit to come to I.V. or at the very least, what we allow them to do while they are here. They will eventually leave, but it is the Isla Vista community that ultimately pays the price for their actions, largely by way of the police exercising militant force.
Deltopia does not have an official day (unlike Halloween); it is not set in stone. Because of this, students should think of creative ways to out-maneuver law enforcement in this game of cat and mouse. If Deltopia gets ruined this weekend then have it again the following weekend, or better yet, have Floatopia. I assure you, the urge to rage will long outlast the budget of Santa Barbara to keep sending in large numbers of police. It should be noted that 85 percent of complaints received about noise, music and disturbing the peace are called in by law enforcement themselves, in order to “justify” the dissolution of social gatherings in Isla Vista.
They treat the UC students as if they didn’t have to work hard to get here, and they treat the CC students like they’ll never amount to anything of substance. Contrarily, SBCC and UCSB are beacons of the educational process in their own respects. We work very hard and deserve the freedom to relieve stress in a celebratory manner with likeminded individuals. COME ON I.V.! We pay tens of thousands of dollars to sit in overcrowded classrooms, pay overpriced rent, get harassed by law enforcement and have the various administrations and authoritative bodies bully and patronize us. Do not let this community turn into a police state. They can do only to us what we let them do.
To the Administrations of UCSB and SBCC, Isla Vista Foot Patrol and all other entities invested in the suppression of social gatherings within Isla Vista:
I am pleading with you, as the author of this letter, to not underestimate the efficacy and resolve of the 20-30 thousand students residing in Isla Vista. Everyone agrees that we would like Isla Vista to be safe. However, we will not allow it to be a pyrrhic victory. When UCSB and SBCC want to coax us into acquiescing to their interests then they leverage every resource and network to reach us. Yet, when there are meetings, votes and changes to the laws that govern our day to day lives, we are kept in the dark and silenced.
The young adults that live in Isla Vista do not wish to be governed in a way that lightly channels neo-fascism. We have some of the brightest minds in the country within our zip code, why not try to work with us rather than against us? After the burning down of Embarcadero Hall (formerly known as Bank of America), thousands of incidents of police brutality and the tensions between residents and enforcers, you should welcome the idea. Holding open office hours (IVPD) only works for people who have an ideology that is in line with that of the policing authority in I.V. Dissenters have been arrested, brutally beaten and even slaughtered (R.I.P. Kevin Moran). So I’m certain you understand our reluctance to trust you, although we would like to. There should be greater dialogue between those that would like to take away the social aspect of Isla Vista altogether and those that wish to preserve it. Deltopia is more than just college kids partying; Deltopia is ONE DAY that signifies the final stretch of a hard years work through the expression of dance and the amplification of community. Imposing stricter noise ordinances to virtually not allow any music is very heavy handed.
The I.V. community should not resent the presence of law enforcement, however, we are left with no choice. College, in an abstract sense, is supposed to support the varied manifestations of expression, not the preclusion of it. We would gladly like to work with the enforcement arms of the UC System, such as IVFP and UCPD to establish some middle ground with regards to Deltopia, Halloween and the social scene in its entirety. We are entitled to seats at the table, especially when the discussions directly affect us. Yet, it would seem that you are more invested in the abuse of college kids in the name of safety, than working with us educated students on effective safety measures that we do not have to side step.
TO ALL WHO HAVE READ THUS FAR:
This is a letter not only in defense of Deltopia, but also in the defense of preserving a social scene that has evolved over the years. This is a letter encouraging students to critically think about what they are willing to relinquish and what they are willing to fight for. Partying may be the focus of this letter at its face, but partying is not the focus of this letter in terms of its content. Think of what we pay, what we receive and what we are entitled to. Likewise, to those lobbied against the students, you should definitively decide how much animosity, brutality and prejudice you are going to harbor and exert on the students who call this place home.
This is an open letter from an author named “Isla Vista.”