Neighborhood task force to implement noise ordinance

MAC WALBY, News Editor

City College students will soon be experiencing some dramatic changes in how the administration will handle off-campus behavior.

After over a year of work and countless meetings, the City Council and the Board of Trustees came together to announce their findings to the public.

The two groups met Monday evening to lay out the next steps City College’s Neighborhood Task Force will be taking.

As resident Beebe Longstreet said, “this report is just the beginning.”

Facilitator of the task force Daniel Iacofano and Board President Marianne Kugler laid out the group’s recommendations starting with its biggest priority — noise.

The task force will be following the lead of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, which recently implemented a noise ordinance to control the partying and complaints from the school’s surrounding neighborhoods. Along with the noise ordinance, Cal Poly set up a system of student and neighborhood leaders to do their own noise enforcement, without police involvement.

The system involves a series of peer warnings and escalating fines that are intended to cut down on noise and party complaints.

Though it seems easy enough, City College does not have the same funding that schools like Cal Poly have access to, making the implementation much more difficult. Longstreet describes it as “operating like a four-year school, without the resources of a four-year school.”

In conjunction with the focus on noise reduction, the task force members strongly recommend a renewed focus on City College’s student conduct policy already in place. Numerous questions were raised to the college’s ability to notify parents of adult student’s convicted of off-campus crimes, but the administration and police department were very clear on their position.

“We have to remember people’s civil rights,” said Camerino Sanchez, Santa Barbara chief of police.

Superintendent-President Lori Gaskin reiterated his sentiment.

“We are dealing with adults,” Gaskin said. “The minute they step off-campus, they have certain freedoms and rights.”

With new legislation just being announced that could give City College more power on this front, the situation could change very quickly. Gaskin said the college hoped to garner support for both  bills.

Campus police presence was another major topic of discussion which directly relates to the issue of noise and student discipline.

The task force members made the recommendation of increasing occasional foot patrols on-campus and in the surrounding communities. Iacofano said it would have a “dampening effect.”

The idea of opening a small police office on campus to further reinforce the relationship between law enforcement and the college was also brought up.

The recommendations are mostly a general overview of what needs to be put into effect. The next step will be assigning an implementation committee to oversee the introduction of the plan.

The task force is eyeing fall 2015 for most of the implementation to begin.