Students want fence along dangerous Isla Vista cliff

They say too many falls end in injuries or death

John Palminteri, KEYT NewsChannel 3 Senior Reporter, johnp1250@aol.com
POSTED: 09:01 AM PST Feb 02, 2013    UPDATED: 10:30 PM PST Feb 02, 2013 
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ISLA VISTA, Calif. -

A group of students is calling on county leaders to support a new fence on an Isla Vista bluff that currently has little or no protection between the edge of the cliff and the beach 40 feet below.

The students made posters Friday to draw attention to the cause.  There was also a march from Embarcadero  Hall to the park land on Del Playa Drive where the open edge is said to be a risk to anyone who is too close, especially at night.   

Last year, 21-year old student, David Propp died in a cliff fall.  Over the years, many others have fallen to their death or suffered very serious injuries.

One student in the group, Marcella Wong says the area is "frightening" when she thinks of another fellow student ending up over the side.  "It would hurt me to know if another student had passed because we could have done something for this," said Wong.

UC Santa Barbara External Vice President Rhandy Siordia says," I would like to see every single precaution taken to protect our students and protect our community member from continuing to fall."

One small area of the bluff has a wooden fence, about four feet high, but it does not extend across the full length of the park.  

Santa Barbara County, and the Isla Vista Parks and Recreation Department  are involved in the discussions that could lead to the complete installation of a fence.

UCSB Associate Dean Angela Andrade says, "We are 100 percent behind them.  We are there to support and guide them.  There is nothing more important than the safety of our students."

The estimated cost of the fence is $6500.   The students have offered to help with fundraising.  

They would like to see the fence installed by June.