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Isla Vista Coffee Talk May Perk Up Positive Start to the New School Year

After a violent end to the school year on and off the UC Santa Barbara campus, a calmer meeting with students, Isla Vista residents and law enforcement has taken place.

A “Coffee with a Cop” event in Isla Vista created an informal and casual way to work on solutions in the diverse town near UC Santa Barbara.

Ashcon Minoiefar a second year student said the Isla Vista residents need to be part of a long term solution. “I think as much as we need the schools help to facilitate things, I think what’s even better is we need to take ownership of our town.”

Many deputies and University of California police attended.

They brought flyers on self defense classes, bike lights, and other items that promoted safety.

“We try to set the tone. Students that have been out here for a couple of years, they understand how it works. Traditionally get some newer folks, for some it’s the first time away from home. We represent the only person that can say no to them,” said Lt. Brad McVay. He said they often have to protect young people from injuring themselves because of alcohol consumption.

The campus and nearby community is rebounding from a gang rape, Deltopia riot and mass killing that scarred the end of the last school year.

One of the many positive signs at UCSB and in Isla Vista is an upbeat spirit by residents and staff with a fresh school year.

Tuesday, A Nobel Prize in Physics was awared to Professor Shuji Nakamura which brought worldwide cameras to UCSB for the celebration.

But those who work and go to school here say they need to create a renewed environment for safe studying, learning and living.

The Pardall Center in the heart of Isla Vista has become a safe location for anyone who is fearing violence, or needs help after a sexual assault.

“I know they are trying to expand on it. For Halloween there will be a rape crisis center there for anyone that feels they are sexually assaulted and place students feel they can always go to,” said Minoiefar.

Several students talked about issues related to enforcement, and also what the plan will be for the upcoming Halloween event that usually draws thousands to Isla Vista for a street party.

“It’s absolutely one of the most important things we do,” said McVay. “Here in Isla Vista, it is having communication with the residents.”

They also plan to hang flyers with notices of parking and noise rules around the town and have more public meetings in the days ahead to air out any issues that are unresolved.

Several meetings have already been held with law enforcement, university officials, county leaders and nearby Goleta city officials about the impacts of Isla Vista crowds and ways to manage the in flow of people to the area on weekend nights.

More specific details on Halloween rules will be rolled out in the next few weeks, but additional law enforcement officers, some from out of the area, are being scheduled for night shifts.

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