The Isla Vista Action Group wants every weekend in I.V. to be a closed party and might suggest an on-campus parking ban on weekend nights as a way to keep out uninvited revelers.
Though no formal proposal has been submitted to the chancellor, the I.V. Action Group (IVAG) has discussed several ways to lessen the growing crowds of out-of-town weekend partygoers, including a potential on-campus parking ban from midnight to 4 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Currently, anyone can purchase overnight parking permits from machines located in the lots. Students receive them for free by sliding an ACCESS card.
The IVAG, which was formed in November 2003 by UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang, is an informal advisory group is made up of 15 UCSB faculty members, one representative from Associated Students and two greek representatives.
Harry Nelson, physics professor and co-chair of the IVAG, said the group plans to target the “randoms” who party in I.V. by not allowing them to park on campus.
“This is the beginning of the discussion: Can we use parking as a tool to make it harder for random people to come, [while] still allowing students all of their current usages?” Nelson said. “The goal is not to restrict students.”
Tom Roberts, director of Transportation and Parking Services, said a recent survey performed by the IVAG found that roughly 100 cars without campus permits fill on-campus lots on Friday and Saturday evenings.
“We do know that on Friday and Saturday nights, the lots start to fill up around 11,” Roberts said. “Whether they’re friends of students or not, they’re coming to take advantage of students.”
The IVAG’s idea to close campus parking is not unique, Roberts said. UC Santa Cruz and UC Berkeley are two examples of campuses that are closed at night except to students and faculty.
Although some students question the effectiveness of the possible parking restriction, Roberts said it would influence uninvited people not to come.
“By closing the campus to parking, you’re just making it that much less inviting to outsiders, who’ll say, ‘Hey, let’s go party in I.V.,’ – ‘No, there’s no place to park,'” Roberts said.
In November, the IVAG asked Logan Green, Associated Students external vice president of local affairs, to provide the group with student input. He presented the concept of restricting parking to the A.S. Legislative Council on Jan. 21, asking for their feedback. Green said students felt the problem of out-of-town partygoers is not one that merits faculty intervention.
“Most students would agree to keep randoms out, but if it interferes with their lives, it’s not worth it,” Green said. “[The IVAG] has the best of intentions, but I worry that some of their programs may be in conflict with what students want.”
Green said any on-campus parking system should be developed with help from the county officials, so that cars from out of town that are diverted from campus don’t take parking from residents in I.V.
“I think that in conjunction with the I.V. parking program, you could have a small effect for the better, as long as everything is done for the students,” Green said. “As it is, people would just go down and park in I.V.”
Roberts said the IVAG has considered an increase of parking density in I.V. if the plan went through.
“We do know that it will drive more cars into I.V.; it’s like a water balloon, you squeeze one side and it gets bigger on the other,” Roberts said.
Roberts said he felt the plan could help prevent the crimes that are committed by partiers from out of town who have no affiliation with UCSB students.
“The people that usually cause the serious problems in I.V. are not generally part of the I.V. community,” Roberts said.
The weekend ban would demand funding for increased enforcement, which Roberts said would come from the money made off the citations issued, according to state law.
“I have no doubt that they’d write enough tickets to pay for additional enforcement,” Roberts said.
Nelson said the IVAG is concerned with many issues involving student life in I.V. like pornography parties, quality of housing and the sale of retail alcohol to minors. He said there are issues other than out-of-town partygoers that are more important to students, like housing, but “the biggest thing is to protect students.”
Nelson said the IVAG was instrumental in starting the I.V. Live entertainment venue, which features performances in Embarcadero Hall every Friday night. Additional projects being considered by the IVAG include a renovation of I.V. Theater to convert the “phony movie theater stages” to standard stages that would hold the weight of play productions and other forms of entertainment.
“The whole idea is to make Isla Vista feel like a place where you can stay without drinking necessarily being a part of it,” Nelson said. “We’re here to help; we’re not interested in cracking down.”