Dear Valley Voice Community,
It is with deepest sorrow that I am addressing you today. As a UC Santa Barbara Alumni, last Friday’s tragedy touched me in a very deep and personal way. My heart and prayers go out to the victims of the shooting, their family and friends, as well as UC Santa Barbara, and the Isla Vista community.
I feel a very strong connection to Isla Vista; it is truly like a second home to me. It’s where I went to college, met my life-long friends, and started my business, Greek U.
I wish to extend my support in any way possible to the community that has always supported me as a student, resident, and business owner for the last 15 years.
When I first heard about the shooting, it brought me back to the 2001 Isla Vista Massacre. I was a sophomore at UC Santa Barbara, when a troubled young man violently ran down my classmates with his car in Isla Vista. Those kinds of memories stick with you forever. It’s times like this, in moments of tragedy, that we need to come together and lean on one another for support. A tragedy like this calls to the community to comfort each other because the days ahead will be difficult. The families, friends, teachers, and classmates of the victims are unfortunately dealing with something life changing. It’s shocking and heartbreaking to lose loved ones, and I know many of you feel helpless. I encourage you to attend candlelight vigils and reach out to the community, and volunteer in any way you can.
I am thankful that I have the opportunity to give back to the families who are going through a terrible tragedy through my company, Greek U. Greek U created an “Isla Vista Strong” shirt, tank top, and sweatshirt in cooperation with the Isla Vista Strong Facebook Page to raise funds for the Victims of Isla Vista Fund. Our company will donate 100 percent of our profits to the families of the Isla Vista shooting victims. We designed the logo to be blue and gold, representing my alma mater’s school colors. We encourage everyone to wear the clothing to celebrate the lives of the victims who were lost in the shooting. Please help us raise money for the victims’ families. I hope that the community will come together stronger and more empowered than ever before.
I also want to take this opportunity to speak out against the violence on Greek organizations. As a company who serves fraternities and sororities, I know that Greeks have always represented love, respect, leadership, and philanthropy. No one can take that spirit away from you. Keep your head high and remember why you pledged: because the bonds you form are strong and unbreakable. Wear your “Isla Vista Strong” clothing proudly around campus for the victims, families, community, and your Greek organization.
Please show your support today. Go to: http://www.greeku.com/greek/isla-vista/ to purchase your “Isla Vista Strong” apparel.
UCSB Alumni 2003