The topic about UCSB officials cracking down on students for off-campus offenses was not handled quite right in Monday’s editorial “Hey Teachers, Leave Us Adults Alone” (Daily Nexus, May 15). I would like to point out a few shortcomings in the column that bashed this issue. Hopefully, some will see my reasoning.
First of all, the authors of the article seem to take this issue very personally and ignore the actual implications of such an initiative. Only once in the article are the more serious crimes of rape, assault, sexual harassment and hazing addressed. Rather than considering these issues, the authors get tangled up in the alcohol and drug side of things. Don’t get me wrong, the latter are serious, too, but I think the most important aspect of the proposed disciplinary actions regard the former set of offenses.
The authors of Monday’s editorial mentioned that when the university extended its jurisdiction into Isla Vista in 2001, the Associate Dean of Students promised students that administrators would not put drug and alcohol offenses in the hot seat, and that, “We’re going to be very thoughtful of how we use this.” Well, that seems to me to be a clear statement of intent to crackdown only on the serious offenses of rape, assault, etc. However, if the university is going to implement punishments for crimes committed by its students, where should it draw the line? Why should some crimes be overlooked while others are not? We should be reasonable and understand that punishments would likely correspond to the severity of the offense – you’re not likely going to be expelled for getting an MIP.
I have to say that I disagree with the statement in the editorial that “further punishment [for alcohol and drug violations] is unnecessary, and unlikely to curb such behavior in I.V.” If UCSB officials do intend to reprimand students for drug and alcohol violations, could you really blame administrators for this? Obviously, the administrators see a problem.
From the university’s standpoint, it may be quite necessary to do something about the familiar label with which our school has slapped itself. I agree that little can be done to actually decrease the behavior that Isla Vista is known for, but I do not think that this was or is the objective of the university’s extended jurisdiction. It is one duty of UCSB administrators – which I’m sure they’re obliged to perform – to uphold the reputation of the university, and as such it is not far-fetched to suggest that severe violators of the law – meaning the rapists and drunk drivers, not the Friday night boozers – be suspended or expelled from our school. Wouldn’t this likely improve the quality of the student body as a whole?
The authors went on to further ridicule the truthfulness of Chancellor Henry T. Yang’s comment that “the welfare and safety of our students is our most important concern.” Well maybe I’m the exception, but I consider getting rid of violent rapists and drug dealers to be an improvement in safety and quality of life for the other residents of our student community.
I’m sure everyone will agree that UCSB would do well to reprimand – in some cases even get rid of – perpetrators of serious crimes. What I’m really saying is that extending the University’s jurisdiction off campus has already been done, and using it to weed out the folks who don’t deserve to be here is well within reason. As the authors of “Leave Us Adults Alone” said, we signed up for college, not kindergarten, and I say we be held up to that standard of responsibility. Here’s to a better UCSB.
Zachariah Hubbell is a junior anthropology major.