This past weekend was a perfect example of the disrespect that the Isla Vista community continually receives from you “out-of-towners.” I grew up in a humble Abrego home and have lived in this town for the past 25 years. It is where I decided to raise my children. However, this place has become increasingly unsafe, and I am not going to stand silent while it occurs any longer.
Last year, you wandering, belligerent vagrants tallied up 428 jail bookings, 1184 citations, 808 medical calls, 56 search and rescue calls, started a riot, and an incident involving a man performing an act that I do not feel comfortable putting in print, but I can tell you it involves a bar of chocolate, a floatation device, 9 pennies, a ladder, and a rubber chicken. I see you walking around with your UCSB sweaters, holding your heads high and riding your bikes with no hands, which is albeit pretty impressive, but also a small display of the arrogance that seemingly plagues every student here.
The sad part is that this student body’s apathy has caused a complete dejection of me and others with families like myself. Did you know that out of the roughly 15,000 people that live in this .6 square mile of land, 13.3% have children under the age of 16 living with them, 16.4% are married couples living together, 2.7% have someone living alone who is 65 or older, and 4.8% who are, like myself, single female householders with a child and no husband present. Did you know that each and every time the local law makers create a new ordinance, or divert funds to increase law enforcement in Isla Vista, my taxes go up to pay for them? Meanwhile, I have to tell my daughter to stay inside while the police try to keep you from destroying this town. I can only forbid a 4-year-old from eating leftover rubber bullets off of the ground so many times before she gets curious.
Now, maybe I’m being presumptuous. Some of you might actually be, as you claim, “Isla Vista natives.” If that is the case, help me discourage these imposters from ruining my home. It’s bad enough that everyone who visits stays here for four years, but every year they invite another 3,500 people to do the same. I understand that Isla Vista is essentially the California milieu condensed into a square mile radius, making it an appealing destination for partiers everywhere. But if you care about it as much as I do, you’ll help me drive out the kids who act like they own the place even though none of them lease homes here for longer than 11 months.
I know I sound like a party pooper. But I’ve lived here my whole life, and it’s my right to party that’s being infringed upon when 18,000 people gather here for 10 months at a time and trash my home. So please, to those of you who visit, be considerate. And to my fellow homeowners who think it’s okay to invite these out-of-towners, please, please keep it local.
Marissa Ruiz, Isla Vista Native