January 18, 2023
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Letter: UCSB should take leadership role in Isla Vista


Dear editor:

As you mention in your May 30 column, Isla Vista is a unique situation. It is a very dense, student-dominated (and therefore non-permanent) population that is fairly effectively cut off from outside influences.
I think, at the end of the day, UC Santa Barbara has to be the entity to step in. The university has the most to lose and is in the best position to do something.

A few things that come to mind:

• The campus police should become a permanent adjunct to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office in Isla Vista.

• The university should start buying up properties throughout Isla Vista and convert them to housing for staff and their families. It would be a win/win by introducing a more stabilizing influence in the community and providing affordable housing for staff.

• UCSB should do more — concerts, theatre, and other events — to attract the larger community to the campus and to Isla Vista. Maybe build an auditorium in Isla Vista. (As it now is, most of these events are all to often held off campus at venues such as the Arlington and Granada Theatre.)

I am usually proud to be an alumnus of UCSB, but the reputation of Isla Vista definitely puts a damper on my enthusiasm.

— Michael Neal Arnold
Santa Barbara