Right Rant, Wrong Rag?

It would appear that Adam Graff may have submitted his diatribe entitled “It Takes an Isla Village” (Daily Nexus, Oct. 17), to the wrong paper.

Adam’s comments about rude drivers, pathetic-looking guys harassing decently dressed girls, water-balloon assaults, blunt rolling, drunken girls walking right into trees, people stealing or knocking down parked bikes just for the hell of it and racial slurs certainly ring true to anyone who has spent more than a few minutes in I.V. However, they sound more like something that would be published on thedarksideofucsb.com.

Graff’s personal-stress rant, when added to articles such as “Relatively Peaceful Weekend for UCPD, IVFP as SB Students Return” (Daily Nexus, Sept. 26), “Cool Off I.V., Heckling Just Goes Too Far” (Daily Nexus, Sept. 30) and “Greek Groper Deserves Punch to the Groin” (Daily Nexus, Oct. 4), creates a clear picture of a very dysfunctional community.

While Graff woefully claims to be “sick and tired of us terrorizing our own community,” he really does not offer a solution.

Moreover, each of the above articles excuses or diminishes the root causes of many of the problems in the UCSB/I.V. community: booze, drugs and out-of-control behavior.

In her article on groping, after describing a sexual assault by a frat-rat, Dianne Jobson meekly backpedals with, “This is not a rant against all frat boys/frat parties/overly drunken people.” OK, so drunks who assault people are acceptable as long as they are merely “frat boys” or not “overly drunken.” Come on Jobson, wake up and smell the vomit. When young people get drunk (particularly in a place like I.V. where excess is worshipped), trouble will follow – you cannot have it both ways.

Each of the authors fail to accept a simple truth: drunks and druggies equal problems. Each author is unable or unwilling to hold people personally accountable for their misdeeds.

Here are the Dark Side’s solutions: One, UCSB should expel students who create problems. Certainly, it should, at a minimum, expel the following types: people who commit felonies, people who commit sexual assaults and people who commit assaults upon others.

Two, put your money where your mouth is and have UCSB dedicate 10 percent of the current “Campaign for UC Santa Barbara” to a fund for Isla Vista. (It would seem that UCSB should be able to scrape by on $450 million rather that the current target of $500 million since it originally planned to raise only $350 million.) The principal of the new I.V. fund would never be spent. However, the earnings from the fund would be spent to fund a full-time county counsel to go after slumlords and substandard housing, fund better alcohol and drug programs, fund increased training and more supervision within the IVFP, fund community outreach for police problems, services, noise and parking; and provide adequate funding and support for alternative events for students in I.V. Feel free to add you own ideas to the above list, as there would be plenty of funds to go around since the earnings alone on the I.V. fund would be over $4 million per year.

Finally, this community needs to stop thinking that it is cute to get drunk, assault people and get high – it is not – not even if you do study hard.

Students, parents and local community leaders need to demand that Chancellor Yang get a backbone and stop the carnage. Yang has the resources and the influence to get serious about stopping the violence and improving the quality of life for UCSB and I.V. residents. It is time that he stops merely coming up with new “draconian programs” and starts providing the leadership, support and financial resources to clean up I.V. It is time for the university, if for no other reason that it is in UCSB’s own self-interest, to get rid of the losers and abusers.

One last thing: Adam, if you put a little more “curmudgeon” in your writing voice, you can have a full-time job with us at thedarksideofucsb.com.

James Baron is the editor of thedarksideofucsb.com.