The new surveillance cameras that have recently been placed throughout Isla Vista serve to remind us of the events from the last few weeks of Winter Quarter, which included a sexual assault and gang rape, a stabbing, a near-riot and an attack with a machete … and that’s just to name what has been reported to the police. Deltopia, and the possibility that it will put the reputation of our campus at risk, justify the installment of the cameras to the university and Isla Vista Foot Patrol Office. While it could be said that these cameras are a breach upon our personal privacy, we as a community have not been able to prove that we can handle not having our privacy imposed upon.
We must not let the safety of our community, and those that have suffered from its lack thereof, slip from the forefront of our minds, especially with the infamous Deltopia approaching. With an influx of thousands of UCSB students, Isla Vista residents and out-of-towners on our horizons, our responsibility to protect each other only increases. Do not sit there and think there’s nothing you can do about this situation: There is, and you can. It has been said before, and I am going to repeat it again: If you see something you don’t feel is right, in the very least, call the authorities. If you see a girl sitting on a curb alone or wandering down the street looking lost, or in a situation with a guy she clearly is not comfortable with, please do not just let the moment pass you by. Talk to her and make sure she’s okay. Walk her home. Call a CSO or the police. Find her friends. Pretend you’re her friend and get her away from that guy. Do whatever it takes, and if it doesn’t work, at least you have the comfort of knowing you did everything in your power to prevent a potentially dangerous situation.
I also want to make sure to acknowledge that guys are at risk as well. We shouldn’t only be protecting women, but men also. Stay with your friends and look out for one another. But also remember that just because you aren’t friends with someone doesn’t mean you can’t help them too.
Deltopia should be a fun event and we must do everything in our power to make it so. In the future, this could possibly entail making events like Halloween and Deltopia hosted, rather than no-host events as they are currently, and exclusive to students and residents, but will not help us right now. Right now, all we can do is take immediate action and pledge that we will, especially this weekend, look out for one another. Let’s show that we will NOT tolerate violence in our community and let’s take whatever actions are necessary to maintain that commitment.
Emily Potter is watching all y’alls.