Making Meaning Room
This room focused on the outpouring of support received from around the nation and world, as well as the national conversations sparked by issues such as gun violence, misogyny, and violence against women.
On this wall there were three photographs from the solidarity vigil that took place at UCLA several days after the Tragedy. The vigil was organized by UCLA first-year art student Oscar Pena and Ian Cocroft, a second-year political science student. There were speakers who knew some of the victims personally, and many who said they had friends at UCSB. The UCLA Origami Crane made cranes as a gesture of peace. During the vigil they placed the cranes next to candles on the stair steps of a nearby building. Vigil services were held on other UC campuses, including San Diego, Santa Cruz, Irvine, Riverside, and Davis throughout that week. Our campus also received photographs and videos of solidarity vigils that took place around the world, including UCSB EAP students who held vigils in other countries they were studying in. Our archive contains physical artifacts in the form of cards, banners, letters, and artistic pieces received from numerous colleges and communities.
This photograph depicts a flag that was flown by the military in honor of the victims. A UCSB student’s brother was was serving in Afghanistan and his troop flew the flag above their base in Afghanistan and documented this with a Certificate of Authenticity and a photograph of his troop. These three items were given to UCSB and flags were also given to the families of each victim. The University’s copies reside with the Division of Student Affairs.
This wall focused on the conversations raised around gun violence prevention in the wake of the Isla Vista Tragedy. There are posters for Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, the nation’s largest lobbying organizations for gun reform. There are also photographs of Richard Martinez, the father of one of our victim’s, Chris Martinez. Rich quit his private law practice to work full-time for Everytown for Gun Safety. After his son was killed Rich gave a passionate speech at the Press Conference organized by Sheriff Bill Brown. Rich said “When will this insanity stop? When will enough people say, ‘Stop this madness!’ Too many have died. We should say to ourselves, ‘Not one more!’” The phrase “Not One More” became a rallying cry for many on this campus and in this community, as well as around the nation and the world.
This exhibit case contains items from the “Not One More” campaign. During the campus memorial service Richard Martinez asked how many more needed to die before meaningful gun control legislation was passed. He encouraged everyone to text #NotOneMore to their politicians and to also send physical postcards with the message to to their elected officials. Everytown for Gun Safety produced blue postcards with the message in white text and made them available to concerned Americans. Over 2.4 million postcards were sent to politicians in the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, and governors. Additionally, Rich Martinez personally delivered 60,000 postcards to politicians in Florida by dragging the postcards to their offices utilizing a red Radio Flyer Wagon. Photographs of Rich hand delivering the postcards appeared above the exhibit case.
A number of different postcards were sent to politicians and the NRA in response to Rich Martinez’s call to advocacy. Additionally, the Korean American Student Association (KASA), under the leadership of its President Kathleen Kim, created four different designs for postcards that they made with their student organization funds. They featured photographs of the Paddle Out, the Vigil, and Isla Vista Deli. They gave out the postcards in Isla Vista and at The Arbor on campus, and helped fundraise money for a fund to enhance safety in Isla Vista that was created in the wake of the Tragedy. KASA also helped create The Memorial Wall which was a wooden structure that was covered in messages of support that was created by students Melissa Barthelemy, Madison Dykstra, and Madison Tuttle. The latter two students were close friends with each other and had also been good friends with one of the student victims.
Items related to the “Not One More” campaign. Exhibit case contained postcards students made with the message emblazoned on it and addressed to politicians, and left at spontaneous memorial sites in Isla Vista for people to take and send. Also, there were candles with the message Not One More written on them that were left at sites. In the center is a blue t-shirt with the message Not One More that was created by Everytown for Gun Safety and is still sold on their website. Other items include origami cranes, a shell and bracelets gathered from sites.
This display wall featured images and items pertaining to calls for gun reform and gun violence prevention in the wake of the Tragedy. Within days of the violence there was a sign created that said “Gauchos for Gun Control” that was left in front of the IV Deli spontaneous memorial site. It was covered in numerous messages and signatures. Additionally, UCSB alumna Allie Clement flew from her hometown in Newtown, Connecticut, back to Santa Barbara to help organize a response calling for gun reform. With the permission of the owners of IV Deli she placed a sign in the window to advertise a march that she organized, dozens of community members marched through Isla Vista calling for gun reform. There is also a hand-painted sign that was made to celebrate the passage of AB 1014 and a photograph of student activists holding that sign at a media event that took place in Isla Vista to celebrate the passage of AB 1014. These students were friends with one of the victims of the Isla Vista Tragedy. AB 1014 is a Gun Violence Restraining Order that was passed by the California Legislature in record time, and it was authored in direct response to our Tragedy. The law allows a court to issue a temporary emergency gun violence restraining order that allows people who suspect a family member is mentally unstable or dangerous to get a court order forbidding that person from owning weaponry and ammunition. The families of gun violence victims Chris Martinez, Veronika Weiss and Katie Cooper lobbied for passage of this bill, and the letters they wrote in support of its passage were framed and displayed in this section of our exhibit.
This bright yellow banner was made by the families of three of the victims and they gifted it to our project team when they took private tours of our exhibit. They wanted us to hang it up immediately so we found hammers and nails, and displayed it right beneath this framed newspaper article that shows Rich Martinez delivering 60,000 Not One More postcards to politicians in Florida.
Many of us resented the fact that we did not have time to mourn privately and that the media was present at all of the spontaneous memorial sites and remembrance events. In these photographs students held signs protesting the media coverage which was perceived by many as overly invasive and negative in its portrayal of our community. A number of people complained that certain media outlets focused too much on the actions of the perpetrator rather than on the lives lost and injured victims. In front of IV Deli students held up hand-made signs that demanded the media back off. One said, “Criticism of the media response is part of this story! Report it.” Other students held signs that said “Let us Grieve in Peace,” “Respect our Home,” “Let Us Mourn,” “Our Tragedy is Not Your Ratings,” and “Please Leave.” This protest seemed to have a positive effect since news stations started to set up their cameras further away and didn’t hound students as much.
On Monday the 26thof May, just three days after the Tragedy, Feminist Studies major Ariana Richmond decided to organize a march to protest violence against women and male sexual entitlement. A Facebook page asked protesters to gather at the spontaneous memorial site in the lawn of Alpha Phi. Over 70 people indicated on Facebook that they would attending the march. Instead the only people who showed up were Ariana, two of her friends, and a graduate student named Melissa Barthelemy. There were a number of reporters who had seen the Facebook post and showed up requesting interviews. Ariana asked Melissa if they should still protest because there were only four protesters. She responded, “even if it is just one person with a sign it is still a protest.” Since reporters were inundating Ariana and her friends with questions it took the four protestors several hours to visit each spontaneous memorial site and pay their respects. The protest march was reported on the front cover of the New York Times, as well as in the New York Post, and newspapers in China. None of the news reporting ever mentioned that there were only four protestors. This story illustrates the influence that even a small number of people can have.
Also, during this time period the hashtag #YesAllWomen was trending in response to the IV Tragedy. A young woman decided to start tweeting with the hashtag #YesAllWomen the day after the violence to convey that all women live in fear of sexual violence. The phrase illustrated the horror women face and was a response to the common expression “Not All Men,” when women describe their mistreatment. By the next evening more than half a million #YesAllWomen tweets had appeared around the county and the world.
The National Trident Magazine is created by Delta Delta Delta and distributed to members. The article featured discusses the UCSB Delta Delta Delta, Gamma Theta Chapter that lost two members.