Neighborhood Task Force extends college’s jurisdiction

Mesa+community%2C+Santa+Barbara%2C+Calif.

Kazden Watkins

Mesa community, Santa Barbara, Calif.

JESSIKA KARLSSON, News Editor

City College has created an addendum for rental contracts that would tie students and homeowners to the college’s honor code.

This agreement is part of the Neighborhood Task Force’s recommendations and would allow the college to extend its jurisdiction beyond its borders.

Joe Sullivan, vice president of business services, said that this is a way of showing students that their responsibility isn’t only within the range of the school.

“We want them to be responsible citizens,” Sullivan said. “To represent the college while within the community as well.”

He added the college already approached seven apartment complexes where the largest concentration of City College students resides, four of them located in Santa Barbara and three in Isla Vista. All of them have agreed to add it into their contracts this year.

The addendum was part of the final recommendations from the Task Force, with plans to implement them this coming fall.

According to Sullivan, the Task Force’s main focus is noise abatement, and “to build and strengthen the relationship between the students and the long-term residents.” Complaints from community members regarding disruptive and disrespectful students were what brought the task force together. They met several times last fall to address these matters and develop a plan for the college to strengthen these relationships.

One of the recommendations was to develop a program similar to the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Student Neighborhood Assistance Program.

The idea is to have City College students employed and trained by the Santa Barbara Police Department. The students would then have the ability to issue citations for disturbing behavior.

According to Sullivan, these students would be first responders in the areas neighboring the college.

“The idea is that you send students out to talk to their peers,” he said.

Student Trustee Nicholas Steil said that he supports the idea of this program.

“It could create more of a bond between the people that are renting and the people that are patrolling,” Steil said.

However, Steil expressed concerns regarding the safety of the students involved and the possible undermine of authority.

“If they run into a violent person, and they have no way to protect themselves, I see some safety issues with that.”

The college is currently working on a hiring process for students, and would make recommendations to the police department.

“They would do the final interviews and selection,” Sullivan said. “ [The students] are employees of the Santa Barbara City Police Department.”

Steil explained that the Associated Student Senate currently does not have a task force representative, and hopes they will be more involved in the future.

The third main recommendation from the Task Force for the college to strengthen the student and long-term resident relationship was to arrange social events through the school’s clubs and organizations. Sullivan stated that this would give them an opportunity to be active in the community as well.

“It is proven that once you know your neighbors,” he said, “you’re much nicer to them.”

Steil said that he loved the idea of more social events through the college.

“We need more student life,” he added. “I think that with a better sense of community on campus, we are going to respect the people around us more.”

The Task Force is aiming to implement these recommendations this fall, however Sullivan said it’s an aggressive timetable.

“There’s a lot of interesting models out there that we are just now learning about,” Sullivan said. “And we need to discuss how we would like to do that.”