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Letters to the Editor: Who at UCSB decided to enroll more students without building enough housing?

UCSB student Kris Hotchkiss lives in a van borrowed from a close friend.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I live in Isla Vista, where UC Santa Barbara student Kris Hotchkiss was photographed in the van he lives in. UCSB over enrolled, and now my neighborhood must endure some students who cannot find housing parked outside our living room window and doing who-knows-what with their effluent. (“California college students live in vans and hotels as campus housing plans spark backlash,” Nov. 12)

Your article does not point out that University of California campuses do not pay property taxes in the communities blessed with their presence. We pay for the infrastructural impact of their “business” that is now overflowing.

Your coverage of UCSB’s housing debacle focuses on Charlie Munger, the billionaire who is donating $200 million toward the construction of a 4,500-resident dormitory. Meanwhile, UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang escapes criticism. Yang is responsible for the housing shortage and the overenrollment.

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Students like Hotchkiss should park on campus and use the facilities there — at least until the UC Board of Regents can find UCSB a competent leader.

Peter Neushul, Isla Vista

..

To the editor: My undergrad life at UCSB in the 1970s consisted of living in a cute duplex in Isla Vista, working part time in the library for four years to augment the affordable tuition, studying abroad one year, getting a solid education, and emerging debt-free with a diploma.

Several friends resided in shabby Santa Barbara rentals with no complaints. No one lived in a car or motel.

Although there’s a confluence of unfortunate circumstances contributing to this miserable debacle, UC adding nearly 6,000 more students than beds over the past six years was shortsighted.

The cost of attending college has increased by 169% since 1980. My nephews still carry student debt, which thwarts the opportunities that I took for granted.

Mary MacGregor, La Quinta


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