Report details 2-year effort to improve Isla Vista’s image

CHANDLER TARANTINO, Channels Staff

The I.V. Safe committee has been very active in working to make Isla Vista a safer place over the past two years, and has recently released a Report to the People, which details the efforts.

In March of 2014, District Attorney Joyce Dudley went to a group of officials to start a committee with the goal of changing Isla Vista’s image from a “rule-free party town,” to a “safe, supportive, and intellectually stimulating environment.” The report is a 32-page culmination of two years of working towards this goal.

“We want the report to assure residents that they’re safe,” said Bertrand. “We wanted to figure out a different way to guarantee a great environment to live in, even if you aren’t a college student.”

Superintendent-President Dr. Lori Gaskin, Ben Partee, the dean of educational programs, and Ethan Bertrand, senator for the Associated Student Government, are all City College participants on the committee, and work alongside the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office, fire-fighters, members of the I.V. Recreation and Park District and employees from UC Santa Barbara.

“There are so many community efforts that are coming from student leaders and organizations which will bring a much better message to the community,” said Bertrand.

The committee has worked towards instating new regulations for events such as Halloween, Deltopia and weekly party nights in Isla Vista.

The I.V. Safe Report covers aspects of how organizations such as local police departments plan to make a stronger and safer community. Some of these aspects include law enforcement outreach, sexual violence prevention, Halloween and Deltopia regulations, enhanced law enforcement officer training, Greek Life regulations, and landlord and tenant agreements, among others.

The report was distributed in many places in the Santa Barbara County after two years of efforts, according to Bertrand.

“We are concerned not a lot of people know about this report and we want the word to spread along with making a difference,” said Bertrand.

For the past two months or so, the committee has released a commercial, set up signs throughout Isla Vista and have used Pandora’s advertising system to broadcast the report around Santa Barbara.

Trustee Jonathan Abboud, said he wants to have the community more involved in the regulation process. He believes that this report has the potential to make Isla Vista a safer place, but wishes to have student and resident voices included.

“This is a good step in the right direction to making Isla Vista better than it already has since the shooting and the riot two years ago,” said Abboud. “They just need to include a community voice.”

Bertrand has stated that there is still work to be done to make this report better so that it may represent the residents.

“We want to encourage good behavior rather than discouraging bad behavior with this report,” said Bertrand. “Making I.V. safer is our main goal.”