The university administration has decided to treat its students like children. Over the next few months, UCSB officials will discuss whether the university will punish students for alcohol, drug and arson – read: couch burning – offenses that occur in Isla Vista.
In 2001, administrators extended their jurisdiction into I.V., subjecting students accused of rape, assault, sexual harassment and hazing to hearings before the university’s Student-Faculty Committee on Student Conduct, which has the power to suspend or expel students.
Then, in 2002, the university established the patronizing Parental Notification Program, giving it the authority to send letters home to the parents of students who are cited for alcohol and drug violations.
If the university goes forth with its latest plan, it will do irreparable damage to its relationship with its students.
When the university extended its jurisdiction in 2001, Associate Dean of Students Joseph Navarro promised students would not find themselves in academic hot water over alcohol and drug citations. Dean of Students Yonie Harris said, “We’re going to be very thoughtful in how we use this.”
Now, rather than working with students to address the issue of drug and alcohol abuse, the university would prefer to widen the gap between administrators and students by taking on responsibilities that belong to the I.V. Foot Patrol. Students already receive large fines for alcohol and drug violations; further punishment is unnecessary, and unlikely to curb such behavior in I.V.
In the same year that the university extended its jurisdiction, Chancellor Henry T. Yang said, “The welfare and safety of our students is our most important concern.” Yet, the university seems to only concern itself with the welfare of its students when it is most convenient.
If the university truly wanted to ensure our safety in I.V., it would fix run-down apartments, build additional sidewalks and install more streetlights – but that’s not its responsibility, and neither is monitoring our activities off campus.
The Isla Vista Commission plans to discuss this issue on Tuesday at 11 a.m. in Cheadle Hall. We urge concerned students to contact administrators and Associated Students representatives before a final decision is made.
Most of all, we encourage university administrators to treat UCSB students like adults. We signed up for college, not kindergarten.