City College students living in Isla Vista will now be able to get counseling and tutoring as well as a quiet place to study in the heart of the student-saturated town.
At their Thursday meeting, the Board of Trustees voted to continue a recently started program where students can take advantage of City College resources in Isla Vista. The board voted in favor, with the exception of Trustee Veronica Gallardo who voted against it, and Student Trustee Emily Gribble who was absent.
The program started earlier this week on March 21, and is a collaboration between City College and the Youth and Family Services branch of the Channel Islands YMCA. It is located at the St. George Family Youth Center, located in Isla Vista.
“We have long wanted to have roots in Isla Vista,” Superintendent-President Dr. Lori Gaskin said. “A place that we could kind of call our own.”
The center is open from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and is available to all students who can provide a student activity sticker. It provides a place for students to study, in an otherwise deficient area.
“It’s so hard to be an 18 year old in I.V.,” said Trustee Jonathan Abboud. “It’s impossible to study if you live in IV. UCSB students go to the library to study, no one studies at home. You can’t study at home.”
Within the small area of Isla Vista there are 3,500 students, which is an “assemblage of students that is no where else,” Gaskin said. Housing is so impacted, that it is difficult to study at home and there aren’t many other places that City College students can go.
Vice President Trustee Craig Nielsen voted in favor, but had some reservations about the program.
“One of my concerns is that if we do this for Isla Vista, which would be the biggest need, that kind of indicates that we would be willing to do it for other places too,” he said. “Like, should we put a center in Carpinteria? Or someplace else, wherever there’s want or need?”
Another concern raised by the board was about creating a program located in a place so close to City College. Isla Vista is only a few miles away, and too much of a commute to the college.
“How do we get students connected with our campus, and all the resources we have here, and the faculty and the office hours?” said Trustee Veronica Gallardo, who voted against it. “Versus creating a satellite out there, when our goal is to get them here.”
The program came from the need of the students, and was a request from those who live in Isla Vista, Gaskin said.
Trustee Dr. Marianne Kugler expressed that the “community in Isla Vista is very grateful for this effort,” also because it will give the many City College students a place to go.
“This was an ideal situation,” Gaskin said. “And frankly the resources that were expended on both the initial small amount of resources as well as the monthly fee, is very very moderate compared to what we’re getting.”
Though there may be many other issues City College faces, especially with housing and the great amount of students, this will help alleviate some of the stress in Isla Vista.
“I view it as a stepping stone,” Nielsen said. “We can do better, we just have to figure out how.”