Students marched on Thursday from the UCSB Library to Anisq’Oyo’ Park. Lorenzo Basilio / Daily Nexus

A group of about 300 students brought the Million Student March back to UCSB on Thursday, using the campaign to address issues of racism, student debt and private prison investments.

Students first marched in the nationwide campaign last November, calling for free tuition, the elimination of student debt and a $15 minimum wage for campus workers. As a response to controversial chalk markings that appeared on the UCSB campus, students marched again to “reclaim UCSB,” demanding an end to racism and student debt.

The march began at noon, when students gathered at the steps of the new UCSB library to address a growing crowd. Chants of “Whose university? Our university!” and “UC step off it! People over profit!” rang out through the campus, and event organizers reminded participants to organize peacefully during the event.

Students raised their voices to chant “Black Lives Matter” as they moved past the civil rights murals of North Hall, where pro-Trump messages were written earlier in April. Students carried posters condemning private prison investments and hoisted banners with quotes by Laverne Cox and Malcolm X.

Throughout the march, participants carried several black chalkboards and encouraged students to add phrases that promoted unity and inclusion.

Stephen Manga / Daily Nexus

A student writes “El Pueblo Unido Jamas Sera Vencido” on a chalkboard at the Student Resource Building. Stephen Manga / Daily Nexus

The march reached a climax at the Student Resource Building (SRB), where several speakers gathered in front of the chalk boards to stress the importance of advocacy. Mariel Islas, second-year history of public policy major, spoke about her experiences as an undocumented student, saying students should not be used as “pawns” during political campaigns.

“I was afraid to leave my room because I didn’t know what was going to happen to me,” Islas said. “But you know what? Fuck that! They want us to feel afraid! They want us to feel that this is not our home!”

A group of Trump supporters joined the march at the SRB, modifying an initial chant to say, “Whose university? Trump university,” as the march pushed past campus into Isla Vista.

The group remained peaceful for the duration of the event, and Campus Security Officers redirected bikers as the group passed through Pardall Tunnel and marched to Anisq’Oyo’ Park. The students arranged the chalk boards together to read “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only love can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that,” forming the words of Martin Luther King Jr.

Mohsin Mirza, executive vice president of statewide affairs, organized both Million Student Marches. Recounting personal experiences, he said marginalized groups have become “accustomed to injustice.”

“In truth, it’s always difficult, being somewhere where you feel like you don’t belong,” Mirza said. “But we do…every single person here is your brother and sister, whether they are black, whether they are queer, whether they are undocumented, whether they are born here or they are born somewhere else.”

Event organizer and fourth-year political science major Lilly Cain said the goal of the march was to provide support for the targeted communities rather than respond to the chalkings.

“I think what matters is that they hurt people on this campus; they specifically targeted communities on this campus and that the point of our march isn’t to fight back but rather stand in solidarity,” Cain said. “We’re standing with these targeted communities and giving them some more hope.”