We all know that the residents of Isla Vista and the students of UCSB are backward, immoral hippies–sarcasm aside, an editorial from the Daily Nexus in 1973 addresses just that. It covers the aspiration of Isla Vista to gain its own justice court. Uncertain if the author was forced to cover the issue or their sarcasm is a league above my own, their words are unsavory about the situation. They describe the residents of I.V. as ‘perverting’ the political process with their aspirations. Funnily enough, the will of the people is placed in quotations as if it were a negative thing. This “will of the people” is followed by i.e. that reads “the selfish political desires of several thousand hippies (let’s be upfront about it).”If that wasn’t spicy enough for you, it then addressed the potential voters of Santa Barbara as acting on “liberal guilt and so on.”
Outlined are six reasons for the desire for an independent justice court. The first is that the court would not convict for the use of marijuana. The second is that a judicial district within I.V. would be another factor in preventing the town from being incorporated into Goleta, “…until [they] want it.” The third would stop the California Highway Patrol from issuing bike tickets (…still happens to this day. Believe it or not, a motorcycle cop pulled me over on the bike path and issued me a ticket.……….>( )
Fourthly, all evictions and small claims would be handled directly in Isla Vista. The fifth reason would place all pretrial hearings including bail, motions, and trial dates in an Isla Vista court. The final sixth reason would get Isla Vista juries for Isla Vista cases instead of Santa Barbarians on our local cases.
The article is more intriguing because it illustrates an image that UCSB was always a progressive school but not as much as it is now. This editorial demonstrates that progressive implementations that we might take as basic or givens were of tremendous debate and polarity 50 years ago. We think of our time as extremely divided, but imagine the world of 1973 with the internet and social media: there would be so many things for the liberal-conservative divide to argue over, as they did.
For instance, the first reason from above is for the court is marijuana convictions, and just a page above it, purposefully or not, is a warning reminder for students not to smoke the “deadly marijuana,” because you know, it’s definitely lethal.
What do you think about a local justice court in Isla Vista? Even if it’s just for smaller cases or even pretrial and small claims, could it be beneficial? The town, even though it’s small, has over 15,000 people living in it. It’s a college town that doesn’t really pertain to the interests and concerns of people living in Goleta and Santa Barbara and vice versa. Though, some would argue it’s a waste of resources that could be applied in other places, or maybe the political polarization between Isla Vista and Santa Barbara doesn’t exist to the extent that it did in 1973. Ultimately, you either live in, near, or explore an interesting unincorporated town with a deep history and decades of continuous controversies and decision-making. With that, it’s your town for the time being and it’s never too late to weigh in on the political aspirations of Isla Vista that have lasted over half a century.
Michael Broman. Michael is a has just graduated as a History of Public Policy and Law major. His specific interests are in United States History, Roman History, and Political Philosophy. Outside of the Journal, he works part-time in Montecito and competes in basketball. In his sparse free time, he loves exploring the city and its people, the gym, sports, watching movies, playing video games, and is always finding new music.