The Office of the External Vice President for Local Affairs revived the University of California Isla Vista Volunteering program this year to provide non-police-affiliated safety resources to the Isla Vista community.

UCIV members station at Camino Pescadero Park on Del Playa for Deltopia, an annual unsanctioned street partying festival that saw 15,000 people in attendance this year. Courtesy of Brandon Doherty.

External Vice President for Local Affairs (EVPLA) Hailey Stankiewicz, a fourth-year sociology and political science double major, spearheaded the effort to bring back UC I.V. Volunteering (UCIV), a community-based policing alternative that formerly existed from 2014-18.

“The mission of UCIV is to be that public safety organization for community members who might not feel comfortable using the police, and a lot of times that’s minoritized and marginalized students,” Stankiewicz said.

UCIV Board Member Lily Macmillan, a fourth-year political science and communication double major, said the program’s intent differs from that of local law enforcement, prioritizing an “uplifting approach” aimed at providing community care. 

“Our support is nonpunitive. We are not there to report anybody. We’re not there to punish anybody. We’re there to just support,” Macmillan said.

Beginning Week 1 of spring quarter, UCIV members set up a station in I.V. with food, water, overdose prevention kits and other resources for local residents. The station operates weekly on Friday and Saturday nights from 9 p.m. to midnight at Little Acorn Park.

Members on shift also walk two mapped patrol routes, one which snakes from the 65 to 68 blocks of Del Playa Drive and back along Sabado Tarde Road. The second route is near a series of fraternity houses in between Embarcadero del Norte and Embarcadero del Mar. 

“They never patrol alone. They never sit at the station alone because that is not safe,” Stankiewicz said. “They should always be in buddies because that also keeps accountability and transparency with the UCIV members as well.”

Macmillan described the positive reactions she heard from community members who approached the station and learned about the program’s mission.

“Being non-police affiliated and being a community initiative really seems to garner a lot of positive feedback from people who come,” Macmillan said. “I’ve seen, probably off the top of my head, 20 people that have come by during my shifts that clearly look like they could use a snack and some water and are very grateful and surprised that they’re free and they’re just there for them.”

UCIV also serves as an alternative to I.V. Safety Stations, a service operated in partnership with UC Police Department and I.V. Community Services District. Community Service Officers (CSO) — unarmed UCSB students employed through the UCSB Police Department — work the station from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., also located in Little Acorn Park.

Stankiewicz affirmed that the decision to locate UCIV at the same park was made with intention to benefit community members who are uncomfortable engaging with a police-affiliated entity.

“To say that we should put UCIV at a different park because CSOs are already there bypasses the whole thing of wanting to ensure people who don’t feel comfortable using police entities are not disadvantaged because then they do have to go somewhere else, and Little Acorn Park is such a central park,” Stankiewicz said. “It is right there in the middle of everything. It’s so close to DP, it’s so close to Greek-affiliated chapter houses, it’s close to the campus, it’s close to everything.”

Macmillan expressed how students seem more comfortable being “open” and “honest” with UCIV members, which she credited to their ability to “blend” with partying crowds as students not wearing full uniforms.

“If I were to be approached by a police officer, and they asked me if I was okay, it would not be out of concern for me and my safety. It would be to determine whether or not I was breaking a law,” she said. “And so I feel like a really big difference between our engagement with the community and police-entity engagement or CSO-entity engagement is that we are a nonpunitive source of support.”

UCIV originated in 2014 as a community-led, volunteer initiative formed in response to a succession of local violent crimes and community tragedies. At its peak, over 70 people joined as volunteers and went out on weekends with a party presence to provide community resources, according to Stankiewicz.

The program slowly dissolved in the 2018-19 school year and failed to recover its community participation during the COVID-19 pandemic, which Stankiewicz attributed to poor structuring.

“While it was a good resource for the community, it didn’t have the structure to last or have any longevity,” Stankiewicz said.

The former version of UCIV was made up of volunteers who lacked specific training and was overseen by a member of the Associated Students (A.S.) Commission On Public Safety, an entity that currently has no members and no longer operates.

In restructuring the program, Stankiewicz adopted UCIV under her office’s jurisdiction to ensure its stability and future, working with A.S. Senator Adam Majcher to draft legislation updating A.S. legal code regarding UCIV. The bill, which passed on Jan. 18, brought the UCIV liaison position from the Public Safety Commission to within the EVPLA office.

“It’s hard to say that I brought back UCIV when I took the name of UCIV and the mission, but I transformed it into something else that will last longer and have more support,” she said.

The revamped version of the program now functions with a board of 18 students, 16 of who have been hired, chaired by UCIV Liaison Owen Meyers.

Stankiewicz also identified available funds for UCIV and allocated the money toward equipment and resources: t-shirts, polos, walkie-talkies and backpacks, along with bulk orders of Narcan and fentanyl test strips and a UCIV-dedicated cell phone in the works.

“I found out that there was $45,000 sitting in a budget for UCIV that had not been touched since 2018,” she said.

So far, UCIV members have received overdose prevention, Stop The Bleed and implicit bias trainings, with plans to add bystander intervention and mediator training in the future.

“Having such specific and relevant training really made us feel more capable. More than just a volunteer, we felt like a resource,” Macmillan said.

The program’s first and most hectic weekend coincided with Deltopia, an annual unsanctioned street partying festival that saw 15,000 people in attendance this year. UCIV members worked at Camino Pescadero Park from noon to 3 p.m., equipped with water, snacks, electrolyte drinks, naloxone and fentanyl testing strips.

“For Deltopia, they were extremely, extremely helpful to the community. They had called first response at least seven times for community members who needed it for EMTs and medical professionals. They gave out water and helped students and community members when they were passing out literally on the floor,” Stankiewicz said. “They distributed Narcan for Deltopia to make sure everybody was okay.”

“It made my heart so happy to hear how much it helped the community and how rewarding it was for the UCIV members.”

A version of this article appeared on p. 3 of the May 18, 2023, print edition of the Daily Nexus.


Nisha Malley
Nisha Malley (she/her/hers) is the County News Editor for the 2022-23 school year. Previously, Malley was an Assistant News Editor for the 2021-22 school year. She can be reached at