I read with some concern the article written two weeks ago article and associated Nexus staff editorial (“Leggies Hear Criticism of Arnold, I.V. Revelers,” Daily Nexus, Jan. 29; “Surrender Your Parking Space!”, Daily Nexus, Feb. 2) addressing the Chancellor’s Isla Vista Action Group and the proposed solutions its members have conjured up to make I.V. a safe community on the weekends.
My concerns are twofold. One, my office has never had a substantive discussion with the university about this ad hoc group. By its very name, the I.V. Action Group connotes an association with the county and, for that matter, Isla Vista. It is unfortunate that this advisory group has been meeting for almost two months and the county has not formally participated in the discussions or added a community-based perspective.
For example, the proposal to eliminate parking on the campus in the hope to quell the crowds of weekend partygoers does not make practical sense. In fact, UCSB Transportation and Parking Services found that only 100 cars use the off-campus parking lots on Friday and Saturday. This idea admittedly does nothing to make the community safer and simply relocates cars into I.V.
It is clear this group is talking among themselves and does not fully understand or seem to care how its proposed actions will impact a dynamic situation.
In order to develop successful outcomes in I.V., these discussions need to include a broad range of people from the community. Positive examples include the I.V. Master Plan committee and the Isla Vista Community Safety Working Group. The university is a partner to both. These groups bring in different perspectives and address ideas in a format that allow for constructive discussion and debate.
I agree alternative events must be produced that draw people off Del Playa Drive. The performances at Embarcadero Hall are a good first step. Clearly, future events should last beyond midnight, or many of those people will just spill out onto Del Playa at the end of the performance.
I understand the goal of the group is to develop ideas to make I.V. a safer place for students to live and work and play. But, if the I.V. Action Group is going to sound like it is formed by the Isla Vista community for the Isla Vista community, it should also include an Isla Vista community perspective and not operate in a vacuum.