Associated Students UCSB will be hosting an Isla Vista Self-Governance Town Hall from 4 to 6 p.m. next Monday, July 21, at Santa Barbara Hillel, 781 Embarcadero del Mar in Isla Vista.

Throughout this past year, Isla Vista has been home to many different events — some that have been positive, and some that have negatively affected our community. These events have prompted many to wonder what the next steps are for Isla Vista and what to do moving forward, especially given the community’s current lack of a self-governance structure.

This town hall comes as a response to this, in order to equip the community with the tools necessary to move forward.

The first half of this town hall will be purely educational, in order to provide accurate and relevant information to the community. We will first provide a history of past forms of self-governance in Isla Vista throughout the years, such as the Isla Vista Community Council and the three attempts at cityhood. Then we will explore the varying types of self-governance that the community has the opportunity to pursue, such as (but not limited to) a neighborhood association and a community services district.

Upon discussing such information, ASUCSB will facilitate a dialogue in which students and non-student community members can explore the varying options and discuss what they see as most suitable for the community.

We will be inviting student organizations, but we will also invite local non-student organizations in order to provide a comprehensive representation of the unique Isla Vista community. Additionally, we will be inviting local stakeholders so that they can be involved in the conversation.

We understand that the nature of summer means that not everyone who would like to participate in this discussion is able to do so; therefore, ASUCSB will host another self-governance town hall later this year, in order to elicit even more community input. However, we recognize that many community members would like to see immediate action and would like to provide them the opportunity to do so whenever possible. In addition, this event will be documented so that those who are not available to attend still have access to the information provided and the topics discussed.

Throughout the next year, ASUCSB hopes to continue providing all the information, resources and services that the Isla Vista community needs. We are excited to collaborate with many different groups and hope to both solidify relationships with new organizations and strengthen those we already have with older organizations.

— Beatrice Contreras represents Associated Students UCSB.