UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang sent the following letter Tuesday to students at the university, in the wake of the violence over the weekend at the Deltopia street party in Isla Vista:
I know that you all share my concern about the unfortunate events that occurred in Isla Vista last weekend. I spent several hours late Saturday night on Del Playa, speaking with students, public safety officers, and others, including visitors and students from City College and other schools.
The safety of our students and our community is our highest priority. I am deeply grateful for the efforts of the dedicated law enforcement officers, safety teams, staff members, administrative colleagues, and our student leaders who were there during the night to help keep our community safe.
Many of you, in conversations last weekend in Isla Vista and this week on campus and in the dining commons, have expressed outrage, disappointment, and even embarrassment at the outcome of Saturday’s events. I thank you for sharing these sentiments with me.
I know from my conversations on campus that our students are deeply concerned about the community they live in and care about the safety of their fellow students and neighbors.
The overwhelming majority of people I spoke with Saturday night were from out of town and were not affiliated with UC Santa Barbara. Data from the UCSB Police Department and Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office confirm that out of 412 arrests and citations, 376, or 91 percent, were not affiliated with UCSB.
It concerns all of us that our outstanding and dedicated students, and our great university, are being defined by the actions of people who do not share our commitment to the community in which we enjoy living, studying, working, and raising our families.
But we cannot direct all the responsibility for what happened toward outsiders. As residents of Isla Vista, and as neighbors, we have an important role to play in ensuring that both our campus and IV are a safe and welcoming community.
We are bringing together representatives from Associated Students, Student Affairs, Administrative Services, Faculty Senate, Governmental Relations, and the Police Department to address last weekend’s events. We are not only working to identify ways to prevent such incidents in the future, but also to make a fundamental change in the culture of Isla Vista.
This, as I’m sure you would agree, requires a persistent multi-agency, multi-faceted approach and cannot succeed without broad student participation.
I welcome your thoughts, ideas, and contributions in making change happen. I hope that in the coming days and weeks we can come together as a community, in partnership with local elected officials, as well as our friends and colleagues at Santa Barbara City College, to address the dangerous events of last weekend and work to prevent future incidents of this nature.
I invite you to email your thoughts and ideas to [email protected] so we can all share in coming up with solutions.