Associated Students (A.S.) passed a resolution this past Wednesday to boycott Giovanni’s Pizza in Isla Vista after the restaurant staff allegedly discriminated against a Mexican customer.
The boycott will continue until the business owner formally apologizes to two UC Santa Barbara students who allege they experienced discrimination at the restaurant.
The resolution passed with a 24-0-1 roll-call vote, with On-campus Senator Derek Yang abstaining.
The resolution reads that A.S. senate will boycott Giovanni’s from all its functions and will advise their boards, commissions and units to refrain from patronizing Giovanni’s.
Students Oscar and Stephanie (names are shortened to protect their undocumented status) allege they were denied alcoholic drinks when they showed a Mexican government issued identification and a federal employment authorization document, respectively.
The Nexus sought comment from Giovanni’s regarding the allegations but did not receive a response. Giovanni’s owner said Tuesday she would release a statement to the Nexus commenting on the allegations.
A.S. now condemns the actions of Giovanni’s as last Wednesday’s resolution states they “committed discriminatory practices against UCSB students based on their identities and backgrounds.”
After debating the language used in the resolution, the Senate voted to pass it as it was first presented by Senators Steven Ho and Andrea Reyes.
Senator Brooke Kopel expressed issue with the word “boycott” being used and made a motion to change the resolution to condemn their actions only and not boycott.
Senators Yang and Kopel said Giovanni’s management should come in to speak on their own behalf, but Senator Reyes said it was too short notice and to wait on voting on the resolution would push it back to September, as Wednesday was their last meeting of the year.
Oscar and Stephanie were not present to speak, but Reyes and Ho presented a written comment on their behalf.
Oscar previously told the Nexus that Giovanni’s management accepted a German-issued ID soon after refusing his own. After speaking to the UCSB Legal Resource Center, he said he now knows both IDs lacked the necessary information required by law to sell alcohol and claims this is why there was a disparity of treatment.
During public forum, various students went up to speak about the incident, including Student Advocate General Jack Tannenbaum.
“It’s the right of any minority to define what hate against them is,” Tannenbaum said.
Evan Quash, newly-appointed deputy chief of staff for the office of the A.S. president, said it was “problematic” for Senator Yang to say that the resolution is “crying discrimination.”
“It is a commonly used tactic used to marginalized the voice of minority communities,” Quash said.
Fourth-year mathematics major AnaSophia Eiseman told the Senate they should use their power to condemn the Giovanni’s staff’s actions.
“That is your real power: your budget,” she said.
Update 6/8/17: This article has been updated to reflect the students’ undocumented status to further specify the reason for shortening their names. The article now also reflects that the Nexus contacted Giovanni’s for comment prior to publication. Giovanni’s management later contacted the Nexus and said they plan to send a statement.