In response to Friday night’s tragic events, Greek U, Hashtag Fifty Co. and Isla Vista Screen Printing are selling t-shirts to support victims’ families.
The profits from all three companies will go to the Santa Barbara Foundation fund and are directly aimed at aiding individual victims and their families. Isla Vista Screen Printing and Greek U are offering blue and gold t-shirts, tank tops and sweatshirts that read “Isla Vista United” and “Isla Vista Strong,” respectively. Hashtag Fifty Co.’s design is offered in white and navy tanks and tees and has a pocket-sized “IV Strong” logo on the front, reading “In Solidarity a Community as One” and last Friday’s date on the back.
Daniel Passov, owner of Greek U and 2003 UCSB alumnus, said donating 100 percent of the profits was his way of showing his support for his former community. According to Passov, his time spent in Isla Vista as a student contributed to his desire to help the community after the events of Friday night.
“This is our first time doing anything like this,” Passov said. “I think it was just because [of] my roots in Isla Vista and feeling so connected to it — it’s really like a second home. It’s where I met my lifelong friends, got my education, started my company and I was really compelled to do something and this is what I can do.”
Michael Rosen, president of Alpha Epsilon Pi Santa Barbara, said he hopes profits from the t-shirt sales will make a positive difference for the families affected.
“I hope that many will be sold and we can make a real difference in the lives of the victims’ families and bring some light to this dark situation,” Rosen said in an email. “The entire Greek community is a support system and every house mourns with and feels the same pain as the other houses as well as the rest of the IV community. We are all affected by the loss of two of our sisters in Tri Delta.”
Rachel Tassano, a second-year psychology major, purchased a shirt from Greek U and said she did so to show her support for Isla Vista in the aftermath of the shooting.
“Any kind of support is going to help people through this. I think it’s important for the community to publicly show their association and support of IV,” Tessano said in an email. “The t-shirt is sort of like a symbol of the pride we have toward our community, regardless of the craziness that may [be] brought into the town.”
Passov said he started Greek U, which mostly sells fraternity and sorority apparel, at age 20 while attending UCSB as a member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. He said he was skeptical that all of the companies selling I.V. strong shirts were donating all of the proceeds to victims.
“If there are other companies that are offering the same thing, I’d be happy that they were doing it, too,” Passov said. “But it does bother me that there’s other companies that are trying to profit from it, because we’re not going to make a dime off of this.”
Passov said on May 27 alone, Greek U donated over $700 to the SB Foundation fund. Hashtag Fifty’s website indicated that $12,106 was raised as of Wednesday at midnight.
A version of this story appeared on page 4 of Wednesday, May 28 2014 print edition of the Daily Nexus.