Associated Students (A.S.) will be voting Wednesday on a resolution to boycott Giovanni’s Pizza in Isla Vista.
The boycott proposal is in response to a recent incident at Giovanni’s, where two UC Santa Barbara students, Oscar and Stephanie, allege they experienced discriminatory treatment. The two claim they were denied alcoholic drinks after showing their Mexican government-issued identification and federal employment authorization document, respectively.
The resolution, authored by A.S. senators Steven Ho and Andrea Reyes, needs a 50-percent-plus-one vote to pass.
The resolution states that Giovanni’s “committed discriminatory practices against UCSB students based on their identities and backgrounds” and that it practices “unjust identification policies.”
The A.S. Constitution states that no university entities and its affiliates shall discriminate against students based on race, ethnicity or national origin, and it also reads that students are to be “free from violence” on campus and in Isla Vista.
Ho believes these two parts of A.S. code work together to justify passing the boycott resolution, which he said will show that the 68th Senate “[does] not stand for racism in Isla Vista and on this campus.”
If passed by the Senate, A.S. will boycott Giovanni’s until the restaurant owner issues a formal apology to the students affected and changes their “arbitrary and prejudiced identification policies.”
Upon passing, A.S. will officially condemn the restaurant’s actions, boycott them from all their events and advise Boards, Commissions and Units to refrain from purchasing from Giovanni’s. The Finance and Business Committee will also recommend organizations and groups to stop conducting business with the restaurant.
The proposed boycott comes as student organizations have joined in condemning the business. UCSB Campus Democrats and the Student Activist Network both issued statements last week.
Oscar said Giovanni’s management accepted a German-issued ID soon after refusing his own. After speaking to the UCSB Legal Resource Center, he said he now knows both IDs lacked the necessary information required by law to sell alcohol.
According to the California law, a document issued by a “federal, state, county, or municipal government” can be accepted as proof of identification but must also include a name, date of birth, photo and written description.
“At the end of the day she did give me a cup and a wristband … only after I showed her my California ID that was expired by two years,” Oscar said about the incident.
He said the manager told him she could not accept the Mexican ID on its own, “which is the key,” he said, because she took the German ID on its own “without further documentation.”
Oscar told the Nexus he recently met with attorney Robin Unander from the UCSB Legal Resource Center and the Office of Student Life to facilitate a conversation with Giovanni’s management and owner.
The Nexus reached out to Giovanni’s management but has not yet received comment.
After speaking to Giovanni’s management, Oscar said he was informed of alleged chalkings outside of the restaurant that read “racist” and said he condemns those actions.
“I’m very gracious for the support I’ve gotten … It’s not just me; there were two other people that night that faced a disparity of treatment, but I do want to tell people not to arrive to conclusions easily,” Oscar said.
Oscar said incidents like his may not be racially motivated individually but can have “racial” implications in a larger sense.
“Even though the Giovanni’s issue may not be racial, the actions, I think , are indicative of a greater narrative of disparity of treatment that we’ve had, and that’s what’s really hard for people to understand,” Oscar said.
Correction: The name of a person in this article has been modified to protect their identity.