Dear Isla Vista Community,
It is with deepest sorrow that I am addressing the Isla Vista community today. As a fellow 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 sophmore 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 in cooperation with the Isla Vista Strong Facebook Page to raise funds for the Santa Barbara Foundation Victims of Isla Vista Fund. Our company will donate 100 percent of the profits to helping the individuals and their families who were the victims of the May 23rd shootings in Isla Vista. We designed the shirt’s logo to be blue and gold, representing my alma mater’s school colors. We encourage everyone to wear the shirts 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 negative connotations about 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. Having been the main targets of this tragedy, try to keep your head high and remember why you pledged: because the bonds you form are strong and unbreakable. Wear your “Isla Vista Strong” shirt proudly around campus for the victims, families, community, and your Greek organization.
Please show your support today.
UCSB Alumni 2003
We have decided to also offer a hooded sweatshirt and tank top in the Isla Vista Strong design. The garments will also have 100% of their profits go to The Victims of Isla Vista Fund. To view all of the “Isla Vista Strong” garments you can go to: http://www.greeku.com/greek/isla-vista/ Thank you to all who continue to support and donate!