Strength Through Reviving Isla Vista Excellence (STRIVE), an on-campus group at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has organized a petition of 10 policies in hopes of bettering the campus and Isla Vista community and promoting student activism through peaceful protests.
Started in response to the riots during Deltopia, STRIVE advocates for improved policy.
“As far as the changes we are proposing, it’s about systemic reform,” said David Raban, a fourth-year history, psychology, and political science major and one of the founders of STRIVE. “Everyone needs to get involved in this, everyone needs to be talking about this–we can’t stop talking about this.”
STRIVE has a list of 10 reform policies that cover things like changing the festival and sound ordinances, installing cameras on every police officer and police car, and implementing a No-Confidence vote in the Associated Students elections.
“These reforms don’t cost much and can really repair the community on multiple different levels,” said Raban.
Members of STRIVE are going around campus with their policies on a petition in order to engage in discourse with students about the changes that the community members would like to see.
“Through really talking and engaging with people and learning what they really care about is where these things [policies] have come from,” Raban said.
All of the proposed policies would affect both UCSB students and many other residents who live in IV.
When asked about how realistic these changes being implemented is, Raban said, “Realistically, there is a definite chance that none of these will go through.”
“It is just really important to keep up the dialogue in the Isla Vista community,” said Salem Mackintosh, a fourth-year psychology major and one of the founders of STRIVE.
Although STRIVE is not currently partnered up with any other school organizations, it hopes to be able to do so over time. Members have attended the Isla Vista Peace Conference and AS Senate meetings; have spoken with members of AS, university faculty, the IV police department; and have even reached out to the Santa Barbara county government.
STRIVE hopes to push these changes and make the organization something that will be recognized by the university’s Office of Student Life in order to keep this club thriving through membership and funding. Eli Rodriguez, a third-year political science major and one of the founders of STRIVE, stressed that the group is not trying to promote themselves as individuals but it is trying to organize and accomplish things in a manner that involves an evaluative conversation between community members and policy makers.
“Just as we are criticizing the school’s policies, maybe our policies can get criticized, too,” Rodriguez said.
The club wants to hear from people who may not be already a part of any group so it can gauge an even better understanding of what change people want in the community.
“The people that would work with us would work with us as individuals, not as representations of their group,” said Mackintosh.
In the future, after the petition either works to implement policies or not, STRIVE aims to make the club an activist or peaceful protest club. Instead of creating and pushing policies, it will promote student activism on campus, help organize peaceful protests, and teach students how to do so.
“The hope [is] for STRIVE to become a platform to give people an audience for activism,” said Mackintosh.
The efforts of STRIVE are still currently underway. Students may run into some of the members in the Arbor discussing policies and asking the students what they want to see improved. STRIVE also has a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ReviveIV, which has their list of proposed changes.
“Our main goal is to change the culture by giving students a voice,” said Raban.