I’m fed up. Maybe you are, too.
There have been two stabbings in Isla Vista since the beginning of the school year. That’s one per month. Couple that with two cases of illegally-discharged firearms, numerous cases of sexual assault and a potentially drug-influenced death last Thursday, and the picture isn’t pretty. Factor in your typical DUI arrests, emergency room visits and Halloween weekend citations, and it’s almost too ugly to look at. Now, ask yourself: Is this the kind of place I want to live in?
For me, the answer is no.
I wish I could say yes, but with the recent string of violent events in our community, it’s becoming difficult to feel genuinely comfortable here. Crime in I.V. is nothing new, but it seems to have returned this year with greater potency. From the stabbings to the shootings to the accidental deaths of two UCSB students, it’s clear that safety is lacking in our community. But what disturbs me even more than the violence itself is the dismissive attitude towards it.
I.V. residents and UCSB students in particular seem to believe that the violence doesn’t pertain to them. What’s more, they think there’s nothing they can do about it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “It’s just I.V., man; that’s just the way it is.” And while there’s nothing exactly false about that statement, there’s nothing exactly helpful or productive about it either. It’s defeatist, lame and ultimately irresponsible.
As a member of a community, you have an obligation to make it better. Not worse, not the same, but better than you found it. This is a point that’s been lost on many of I.V.’s student-residents. There are some who even admire the town’s shadier qualities, who feel that living in an edgy environment makes them edgy by default. These tend to be over-privileged 19 or 20-year-olds like me, who (unlike me) feel they have something to prove. Let me tell you something: Blasting 2 Chainz out the windows of the apartment your daddy’s paying for doesn’t get you any street cred.
What it does is perpetuate the attitude of disinterest in I.V., and in some cases even contributes to the violence. Until the student population realizes its influence in local affairs, death and violence will continue.
Students, please: Take control of your community. Refuse to tolerate crime. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the conflict in Israel this month, it’s that the world abroad is full of violence.
We certainly don’t need more of it here.
Mark Strong is a second year CCS Literature major.
Views expressed on the Opinion page do not necessarily reflect those of the Daily Nexus or UCSB. Opinions are submitted primarily by students.