On Wednesday, the Associated Students Senate unanimously passed a resolution calling for the UC Santa Barbara administration to disarm its campus police of all “lethal and military-grade hardware,” as stated in the resolution.
The resolution, authored by College of Letters & Science Senator Ricardo Uribe and seconded by Off-Campus Senator Jasmine Palmerin, says the university “shall provide guidelines for non-police, community-based responses to community wellness issues.”
The resolution also tasks the Associated Students (A.S.) President, Brooke Kopel, with authoring a letter to the Chancellor which will include “the dangers presented by an increasingly militarized police force” and “the dangers police have posed to the student body in the past.”
“Having the UC be armed is something that should not be happening, especially the UCPD,” Uribe said during Wednesday night’s Senate meeting.
Uribe cited Deltopia and Halloween as instances of “over-policing.”
“It should never get to the point where a trained officer has to use their weapon in any sort of capacity to a student… There are a lot of non-lethal ways that a police officer can make sure that a situation doesn’t escalate,” he said.
“It shouldn’t have to be the work of untrained civilians to de-escalate the situation.”
Ivana Cruz, the resolution’s student sponsor, stated that Wednesday was the 49th anniversary of the beginning of the Isla Vista Riot in 1970.
“It’s rarely talked about. The night of the Bank of America burning, a student was walking home from a liquor store and he was violently arrested because the police mistook his handle for a Molotov cocktail,” Cruz said.
“In the months following, apartments were raided by police and students were brutalized indiscriminately,” Cruz said. “This history has been especially brutal to the unnamed queer students and students of color who had already been targeted and profiled by law enforcement before even entering Isla Vista.”
Cruz added that armed law enforcement has caused UCSB’s campus to live in “perpetual fear and tension.”
“It’s bad for student mental health, and it’s definitely going to affect the way that our ability to function as students works.”
The resolution also calls for A.S. to develop student services “which are not dependent on police intervention.”
Simren Verma currently serves as the University News Editor. She also enjoys school and the presence of her news team.