In response to recent hate incidents on campus, UCSB organizations have banded together for the “Educate to Stop Hate Week,” kicking off the serious discussions with some light banter and tasty grilled chicken.
Yesterday’s barbeque in the Arbor provided 280 students with chicken, mashed potatoes and salad in return for a pledge to create “a community that is hate-free.” The Office of Judicial Affairs and Associated Students Office of the Student Advocate, both sponsors, will continue the campaign throughout the week with various speakers and events.
“We want to help promote awareness and acceptance of diversity on our campus,” event organizer and fourth-year global studies major Jenna Spittler said. “Along with focusing on the hate crimes that have occurred we also want to bring attention to diversity on campus by promoting awareness of groups of different political affiliations, beliefs, customs, ability [or] disability, gender, sex and race.”
Spittler, who is a representative of the Office of Judicial Affairs, said she collaborated with fourth-year law & society major Natalie Herrmann from the Office of the Student Advocate to promote tolerance and acceptance. She said she wanted to spearhead the project as a response to the hate incidents that occurred in campus residence halls earlier this academic year.
Last quarter, racial slurs were scrawled on walls in both San Nicolas and Francisco Torres Residence Halls. The party or parties responsible were not identified.
Funded primarily through A.S. Finance Board, Woody’s BBQ catered the food, all of which disappeared into hungry students’ mouths 45 minutes after delivery. Students also received free t-shirts for signing pledge cards.
While waiting in line, some students discussed hate incidents they had witnessed both on campus and off, and methods for change.
“I think it’s awesome and it will inspire people to combat hate and prejudice,” third-year business-economics major Tyler Patterson said as he stood in line. “I’m planning to wear this t-shirt all week.”
Educate to Stop Hate Week continues tonight at I.V. Theater 2 from 7 to 8 p.m. with a panel of UCSB speakers. Black studies professor Otis Madison, Asian-American Studies professor John S.W. Park and Chueh Jun-Fung, assistant director of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Resources, are all scheduled to discuss the effects of hate crimes and the importance of diversity on campus.
The MultiCultural Center will screen “Freedom Never Dies: The Legacy of Harry T. Moore” this coming Wednesday at 6 p.m. The film explores the life of African-American Harry Moore, a distinguished leader and schoolteacher who led a crusade for equal civil rights.
The week will conclude with a night of reggae music presented by A.S. Program Board and the UCen on Friday at 9 p.m. For $5, students can watch Pato Banton, the Expendables, Mystic Roots Band and Rebelution perform at the Hub. Students representing the Educate to Stop Hate Week effort will be present to pass out literature and further promote awareness.
“I hope we can start a tradition of a week-long campaign such as Educate to Stop Hate Week every year,” Spittler said. “The more aware you are of different groups, the more you can learn from them.”