Spontaneous Memorials Room

View of Spontaneous Memorials Room

This room contained a representative sample of artifacts left at the four spontaneous memorial sites in Isla Vista. Each painting, drawing, poem, candle, or stuffed animal left as an offering became a collective testimonial to the hurt, pain, grief, and empathy of the community. Young children created drawings and messages of support that were gifted to those who had been affected, as they wrestled with trying to make sense of the senseless, as evidenced by their heartfelt messages in crayon. Sorority chapters from around the nation, and from UCSB, decorated cards with meaningful words and art in an effort to comfort the Delta Delta Delta sorority that lost two of its members. Photographs depicted those actively tending to these memorial sites both day and night. They became places where strangers hugged and cried in each other’s arms, and the community demonstrated its love, compassion, and resilience.

View of Spontaneous Memorials Room

This photograph shows the Spontaneous Memorials Room from a different angle.

Capri Apartments Spontaneous Memorial Items

This exhibit case contained items that were collected from the spontaneous memorial site in front of the Capri Apartments located at 6598 Seville Road. Above the artifacts is a grouping of candles collected from the spontaneous memorial sites, and a photograph of community members lighting candles gathered from the site in front of IV Deli.   

Detailed photographs of some of the items that were on display and in the archive.

IV Deli Mart Spontaneous Memorial Items

There was a large screen featuring a slideshow of images taken from the spontaneous memorial sites and other sites of mourning on campus in the wake of the tragedy. There were also two still photographs on either side of the screen, and exhibit cases with artifacts from IV Deli and 7-11.

Close up views of photographs taken in front of IV Deli and a painting with hearts. The Jesus Wept sign that was also left at the IV Deli site was created as part of an event called “Hope for IV.” Several days after the tragedy, UCSB students and community members organized this event that brought over 400 people together for a worship and prayer night in front of the Embarcadero Hall Auditorium in Isla Vista.

7-11 Spontaneous Memorial Site Items

Exhibit Case contains items collected from the spontaneous memorial site in front of the 7-11 in Isla Vista. This was the smallest site and it was created there because several people were injured near that location. Jorge Anaya, a 7-11 employee and UCSB student at that time, rushed out of the building during the gunfire to help bring people inside for safety, including a wounded student who had been shot in the leg. Store owner and manager Ranj Thiara also ushered people into the backroom and barricaded it for safety. Anaya rejected the title of hero and said “I love being a student here, I love working here and being a part of this community. What I did was to help her out. I help out people. I don’t see myself as a hero.”

The message "Rest In Paradise" with palm trees, the ocean, and the sun was drawn and painted in many places throughout Isla Vista and on campus.

IV Deli Heart Display

Students at Isla Vista Elementary School decorated hundreds of hearts that were then distributed at IV Deli Mart and other local businesses that had been affected by the violence, as well as gifted to the Delta Delta Delta Sorority that lost two of its members. The hearts were some of the most meaningful and emotionally difficult artifacts for our project team to handle. They are a poignant reminder of the ability of love to overcome hate.  

Cards Sent to Tri Delta Sorority

The University of California, Santa Barbara Delta Delta Delta chapter lost two members, Katherine “Katie” Breann Cooper and Veronika Elizabeth Weiss. Following the news of the tragedy the chapter received an outpouring of support and condolence cards from the Greek community on campus and all over the country. 

Cards displayed in this case represent a potion of the cards received by the chapter. The cards demonstrate the loss felt by the campus and extended Greek community.

Representative sample of several of the materials received by Delta Delta Delta sorority, and photograph of student writing the message Not One More on the ground with chalk, in front of the IV Deli.

Alpha Phi Memorial Site Items

This case displays items that were left on the lawn outside the Alpha Phi sorority house in honor of Delta Delta Delta members Katherine “Katie” Breann Cooper and Veronika Elizabeth Weiss. 

Items featured include cards, candles, a bracelet, religious items, personal items left for Katie and Veronika, synthetic flowers, and paper cranes. Around the exhibition case are images of community members visiting the memorial site and leaving items in memory of the victims. 

Items left in honor of Katie and Veronika, as well as a bracelet made by the friend of a student who was injured.

Community Members at Alpha Phi Memorial Site

Flowers being left by community members dressed in black following the UCSB Memorial Service at Harder Stadium.

Large stuffed animals left at the Alpha Phi memorial site for Katie and Veronika. Also featured are framed condolence cards sent to the University from local La Patera Elementary School.

Spontaneous Memorials Room