The Showing Gratitude Room was a place where people could share expressions of gratitude for having known the victims who are no longer with us and gratitude for the swift campus and community response. There were also photographs, both historic and contemporary, that showed the beauty of our area, as an expression of our gratitude for this special place that so many of us call home.
There were index cards, markers and thumbtacks so that people could write a message and leave it on the cork boards in the hallway. We wanted visitors to be able to emotionally process what they had seen by having an opportunity to express themselves. To prompt responses the student interns created signs that asked “What do you like about our community? How do you give back to our community? What is your fondest school memory? If you could use one word to describe Isla Vista what would it be?”
Thank you notes on display. These were received by first responders, counselors, and others who supported the community in the wake of the tragedy. Counselors from other UC campuses came to assist UCSB counselors with the difficult task of providing psychological assistance to students in need. UC Davis counselors took a photograph of the themselves and had it made into a poster on which they wrote messages of support, and it was then delivered to UCSB.
On display were photographs of thank you signs and other messages of support that were found throughout Isla Vista in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy. Residents in one apartment transformed their clothesline into a message board, with handmade signs of appreciation.
Visitors to the exhibit were encouraged to take a moment to write in our comment book to let us know what they thought of the exhibit, or any other reflections they wished to share.