The first annual #UCSBFightingSexualViolence benefit concert featured a variety of musical performances from students and local musicians this past Saturday at the Theater and Dance building, with all proceeds going to the Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment Advocate fund, a nonprofit seeking to provide resources to victims of sexual violence.
Santa Barbara-based ethnic folk duo Street Outreach headlined the show and local folk musicians Rachel Phillips and Philip Taylor played the violin, sang and played a variety of instruments including the banjo, acoustic guitar and drums. The open-mic portion of the show featured third-year biochemistry major Tony Duong on vocals and guitar, second-year student vocalist Chee Chang and campus a cappella group InterVals.
The event centered on a circulating petition by fourth-year economics & accounting major Anthony Soriano outlining guidelines for campus organizations to use to prevent sexual violence. Each organization signed on to the petition pledged to hold sexual violence prevention events and thoroughly educate organization members on the definition of consent, among other items.
Soriano said he hopes uniting campus organizations behind the guidelines put forth in his petition will prompt students to help end sexual violence in Isla Vista.
“The aim of our benefit concert was not only to entertain the audience with music, but to really create a safe space for discussion on how we as students can end sexual violence and rape culture in Isla Vista,” Soriano said.
Saturday’s concert was endorsed by Alpha Phi Omega, Phi Sigma Pi, Students Commission on Racial Equality, Take Back the Night, Kapatirang Pilipino, Vietnamese Students Association, Men Against Rape, Queer Commission and the Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment Advocate fund.
According to Soriano, getting support from student organizations on campus instead of individual students is more effective because organizations can do a more comprehensive job of creating discussion among members on ending sexual violence.
“I think the benefit concert was a stepping stone to help end sexual violence in I.V. and I hope next year’s event is even bigger,” Soriano said.
Soriano said 30 tickets were sold for the benefit concert, but many were unable to attend in light of the events that took place in Isla Vista on Friday evening.
Duong, a biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology double major, and president of Alpha Phi Omega fraternity, said it was difficult to decide which songs to perform in light of the killings occurring the previous day.
“With the recent tragic events and the theme of the benefit concert both being so heartfelt, at first I was not sure what songs would be appropriate to play,” Duong said. “I tried to focus on songs that emphasize friendship, love and support because it think these are needed to unify people in times of grief and unify people when trying to defeat sexual violence.”
First-year economics and mathematics double major Victor Tang said he enjoyed listening to the variety of music played at the benefit concert.
“I liked listening to the different musicians that performed tonight,” Tang said. “You had an a capella group, Tony who sang and played guitar and the last group playing folk music all together in one concert. Hearing these different types of music is what made this event special to me.”
A version of this story appeared on page 4 of Wednesday, May 28 2014 print edition of the Daily Nexus.