Tonight, be a part of the unity.

Beginning at 4:30 p.m. in Storke Plaza, we will join together in a time for remembrance and reflection. This event, organized by several volunteers and local businesses, is a gathering that will unite many people in our community. Although we do have planned spoken addresses from Chancellor Yang and 3rd District Supervisor Gail Marshall, this is an "open mic" event for everyone.

We want you to attend because this "open mic" event will give you the opportunity to share your emotions, memories and thoughts. By sharing your personal stories, the power of remembrance will help keep the spirits of Ruth, Christopher, Nicholas and Elie alive and beating within our hearts. Even if you are in disbelief or mourning, all of your feelings are valid. The mixture of feelings is one thing we can share with each other and should feel comfortable expressing. There are people that will be there to support you in this time of grievance.

Between 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., we will continue our unity for remembrance by forming a procession from Storke Plaza to Little Acorn Park, the site of the accident. Volunteers will be handing out candles and yellow ribbons to everyone in the procession. We will also be handing out flowers so that once we reach Little Acorn Park, you can place your flower at the site honoring their spirits, because we shall never forget.

But even with this opportunity to speak, we are also providing another opportunity for you to reach out to the victims’ families. To begin tonight’s remembrance gathering and procession, Associated Students Program Board will be presenting the band Gravity Willing in Storke Plaza at noon. There, you will have the opportunity to write and submit letters to the family of the victims. Your letters will be personally delivered to the families on behalf of the Associated Students. Additionally, your opportunity to write letters will be available later tonight at the remembrance gathering and procession.

Join us in unity tonight because you are part of the UCSB family. We need you there. UCSB has faced a lot of tragedies this year, and we should not forget those we have just lost or those who have passed away in recent months. Please take this opportunity tonight to remember and reflect also on Miyaka Geh, Patrick Hsu and Dave Lindsay, because they were all outstanding members of the UCSB family that we also deeply miss. We welcome any students honoring their memories at the vigil tonight.

On behalf of the organizing committee, I extend my deepest sorrow and condolences to the victims, families and friends who have been hurt in this tragedy. Even if you do not plan to speak or write a letter tonight, please come to help support each other. Tonight, let us rest our heads on each other’s shoulders. Tonight, let us share our emotions and thoughts. Tonight, let us remember our lost community members. Tonight is an important night because the brilliant traces crossed on our hearts are scars of memories that will never be erased.

If you have any questions about tonight’s event, or would like to volunteer, please contact me at or Mel Fabi at 893-5085 or

Vicky N. Leung is the A.S. Academic Affairs Board chair.