Dear Isla Vista Community,

It is with deepest sorrow that I am addressing the Isla Vista community today. As a fellow UC Santa Barbara Alumnus, last Friday’s tragedy touched me in a very deep and personal way. My heart and prayers go out to the victims of the shooting, their family and friends, as well as UC Santa Barbara and the Isla Vista community.

I feel a very strong connection to Isla Vista; it is truly like a second home to me. It’s where I went to college, met my life-long friends and started my business, Greek U.

I wish to extend my support in any way possible to the community that has always supported me as a student, resident and business owner for the last 15 years.

When I first heard about the shooting, it brought me back to the 2001 Isla Vista Massacre. I was a sophomore at UC Santa Barbara when a troubled young man violently ran down my classmates with his car in Isla Vista. Those kinds of memories stick with you forever. It’s times like this, in moments of tragedy, that we need to come together and lean on one another for support. A tragedy like this calls to the members of the community to comfort each other because the days ahead will be difficult. The families, friends, teachers and classmates of the victims are unfortunately dealing with something life-changing. It’s shocking and heartbreaking to lose loved ones and I know many of you feel helpless. I encourage you to attend candlelight vigils and reach out to the community and volunteer in any way you can.

I am thankful that I have the opportunity to give back to the families who are going through a terrible tragedy through my company, Greek U. I also want to take this opportunity to speak out against the negative connotations about Greek organizations. As a company that serves fraternities and sororities, I know that Greeks have always represented love, respect, leadership and philanthropy. No one can take that spirit away from you. Having been the main targets of this tragedy, try to keep your heads high and remember why you pledged: because the bonds you form are strong and unbreakable.
Daniel Passov is the owner of Greek U.

A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, May 29, 2014 print edition of the Daily Nexus.
Views expressed on the Opinion page do not necessarily reflect those of the Daily Nexus or UCSB. Opinions are submitted primarily by students