In response to an alleged hate crime committed in Isla Vista last month, students and faculty members will convene in the Arbor today for a “No on Hate” rally.
The protest — organized by the Associated Students Student Commission on Racial Equality — will commence at noon with a moment of silence to honor victims of hate crimes. Participants will then march across campus and into Isla Vista, ultimately winding back to Storke Plaza for a public comment forum.
S.C.O.R.E. Publicity Chair Hailey Lorraine Pawl said the rally was organized to awaken I.V. residents to the possibility of hate crimes occurring in their own backyards.
“People think of I.V. as this perfect beach town, but hate crimes happen all the time,” Pawl, a second-year political science and black studies double major, said. “Awareness is the first step in taking action, and the rally is a good way of making people aware of the hate crimes that take place in I.V.”
According to Pawl, plans for the rally were put in place after two students were allegedly assaulted in front of the Phi Kappa Alpha fraternity house.
“We started planning for [the rally] after spring break because we had heard of the recent hate crime that happened in front of PIKE,” Pawl said.
According to S.C.O.R.E. Co-chair Paul Monge-Rodriguez, the rally is an extension of S.C.O.R.E.’s goal to protect UCSB students from discrimination as well as a way to boost public knowledge about violent hate crimes in and around UCSB and I.V.
“S.C.O.R.E. itself is an organization that was founded on the principals of insuring the safety, security and comfort of underrepresented students at UCSB,” Monge-Rodriguez, a second-year global studies and sociology double major, said. “It was only appropriate to organize this event to create a campus consciousness surrounding recent hate crimes [and] the history of hate crimes throughout campus.”
In addition, both Pawl and Monge-Rodriguez alleged that hate crimes were committed in I.V. against two members of the queer community during the summer of 2008. According to Pawl and Monge-Rodriguez, these events also provided the impetus for the rally.
S.C.O.R.E. Co-Chair Celina Ayala said the march will provide a venue so victims and students alike can share their feelings about hate crimes.
“I think it really comes down to showing that there is no tolerance for hate crimes in I.V,” Ayala, a second-year biopsychology major, said. “This rally is in place to let everyone know that students aren’t just going to sit back and tolerate these injustices. We will make our presence known and reclaim the community we live in.”