“Why?” I’m sure that I don’t have to go any further for you to know that this question, being asked over and over again, is referring to the horrible tragedy that occurred over the weekend. Speculation over why this incident occurred can and will go on forever with little resolution. The fact of the matter is that four individuals are dead, a fifth is clinging to his life, five sets of parents, family and friends’ lives have changed forever and we as a community are left to pick up the pieces.
The scary thing that should cause all of us alarm is that it could have been you or me. How many times has each of us walked in the street and subjected ourselves to the randomness of what might happen – cruising up and down Del Playa or meeting complete strangers and letting the night go in whatever spontaneous direction it goes? Last weekend, that sense of innocence was shattered.
Did you think twice on Saturday night about going out? I sure did. Will it prevent you from venturing out of your house again after 10:00 in the future? Me neither. But I can’t help but think about my mother and father and what would happen to them if they received a phone call saying that their only son had been a victim in such a senseless accident, or worse, the cause of one.
Although the exact cause of David Attias’ behavior is yet to be determined, drugs and alcohol are highly suspected. The dangers of drugs and alcohol, and the potential consequences of its abuse, are well known; yet, for some reason it is still a persistent behavior in our society. This calls into question all that we have learned that has supposedly lead to a greater awareness, and thus, reduced instances of alcohol abuse in general and drunken driving in particular. What more can we do, if despite all the education we’ve learned it remains as easy as ever to grab the keys, get behind the wheel and go? Lots more is what we can do.
So, Associated Students, along with the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, the CSOs, and the Isla Vista Community Relations Committee are dedicating this week of Reflection and Remembrance to the memory of the four who died and, equally so, to the problem of alcohol and drug abuse in our community. Your input is more than welcome every night this week at 6:30 p.m. in the A.S. main office, where a group of students will meet to brainstorm further ideas about what we as a community can do to make sure something like this never happens again.
Yellow ribbons are being passed out all week. This will culminate in a march from Storke Plaza to Little Acorn Park in I.V and a candlelight vigil on Thursday beginning at 4:30 p.m., to publicly remember all five victims. It will feature local government and university representatives, as well as an open mic for you to publicly share your own expressions, concerns and sympathies with the larger community.
To honor the victims, however, will take more than just yellow ribbons and a public memoriam. We cannot ever forget the shock and horror of what happened here last Friday night. We cannot let ourselves become complacent and fall into a false sense of security that this kind of stuff doesn’t happen at UCSB, because it does. At the same time that the [Re]Vision I.V. design competition is crafting a long-term master plan for the future residents of our town to create a much safer, cleaner and hospitable home for UCSB, those very values and sense of community in I.V. is now being called into question.
The Isla Vista Community Relations Committee has established a memorial fund. If you would like to make a donation to the families, the memorial services or the events of this week, please contact Mary Hunt at 893-3374 in the A.S. office.
If you would like to find out more information or get involved this week, contact either Mel Fabi at
Christopher Hubbard is the A.S. off-campus representative. Mel Fabi is the IVCRC chair and Goodspeed intern.