El Centro Timeline

El Centro, also known formally as El Centro Arnulfo Casillas, has acted as a glue for Latinx students since its establishment in the late 1960s. This sacred place has comforted and cultivated generations of scholars, but through this process has also faced trials and tribulations. Below is a timeline delineating the journey of resilience and compassion that both El Centro and its students have embarked on together.


October 1969

IMAGE CREDITS: El Plan de Santa Bárbara/October 1969

The publication of El Plan de Santa Bárbara by the Chicano Coordinating Council on Higher Education was the direct result of the meeting between professors and students at the Francisco Torres Residential Hall in April 1969. This plan outlines the implementation of Chicano Studies programs throughout California as well as a community space for Chican@ students to be made available on campus. The goals of this plan were to make higher education more accessible and less alienating to Chican@ students. 

[Logan, Jim. (April 12, 2018). A Legacy of Community, Pride. THE CURRENT. RETRIEVED FROM https://www.news.ucsb.edu/2018/018900/legacy-community-pride]

Fall 1970

IMAGE CREDITS: Roger Hagie and Steve Riede/EL GAUCHO/October 15, 1968

The establishment of the Chicana/o Studies department stemmed from the North Hall building occupation in 1978 and the El Plan de Santa Bárbara Conference in 1969. The El Centro building housed the first Chicana/o Studies department in the entire University of California system, providing a community space for students.

[RETRIEVED FROM https://www.chicst.ucsb.edu/]

Autumn of 1975

Building 406 was named after Arnulfo Casillos, (1948-1992), a professor and activist. His legacy was used as a testimony of resilience and kindness that was utilized as a center for the intentions and regards for El Centro for Latinx students. 

[RETRIEVED FROM https://www.chicst.ucsb.edu/] 

August 7, 2013

IMAGE CREDITS: Gloria Campos/Daily Nexus/August 07,  2013

El Centro becomes a target of bigotry by being vandalized with the phrase “Deportation = Justice; Deport Illegals NOW,” on its entrance doors. This blatant attack impacts undocumented students and resource such as UCSB I.D.E.A.S that is affiliated with El Centro alike.

[Staff Report. (August 7, 2013). Vandalism Attacks Undocumented UCSB Students. THE DAILY NEXUS. RETRIEVED FROM  https://dailynexus.com/2013-08-07/vandalism-attacks-undocumeneted -ucsb-students/]

May 23, 2016

IMAGE CREDITS: Nicholas Bogel Burroughs/Daily Nexus/May 23, 2016

Student Advocacy group, VOCEROS, met with UCSB Administration with a list  of more than 30 demands made for the retention and well-being of Latinx students. The meeting was held in El Centro and emphasized the importance and maintenance of El Centro.

[Bogel-Burroughs, Nicholas.(August 7, 2013). UCSB Open to Latino Students’ Demands. THE DAILY NEXUS. RETRIEVED FROM https://dailynexus.com/2016-05-23/ucsb-open-to-latino-students -demands/]

January 13, 2017

IMAGE CREDITS: Jose Arturo-Ochoa/Daily Nexus/January 13, 2017

Negligence From UCSB Administrators in the upkeep of El Centro resulted in students and organizations needing to evacuate the  building in 45 days. Students came to a consensus that El Centro was  integral enough to their college experience that it was “worth getting hurt over.”

[Yelimeli, Supriya . (January 13, 2017). Students Told to Evacuate El Centro Annex Before Possible Demolition. THE DAILY NEXUS. RETRIEVED FROM https://dailynexus.com/2017-01-13/students-told-to-evacuate-el-centro-annex-before-possible-demolition/]

2019

El Centro implemented the idea of a community garden that is located in Lower Westside Santa Barbara, and the Somos Semillas Food Sovereignty Project was established. This was an effort to cultivate community and sovereignty in regard to food education. [RETRIEVED FROM https://sites.google.com/view/elcentrosb/somos-semillas-garden?authuser=0]


By: Adriana Rodriguez and Veronica Huerta, First-Generation Latinx Undergraduates

YDSA COVID Organizing

The interviewer met with YDSA co-chair Taylor Clark to discuss the demonstration concerning the influx of COVID money received by UCSB. Clark details his involvement in YDSA, as well as how the chapter found out about the money, steps they took to contact the administration, and how they planned the march to chancellor Yang’s house to demand answers. 

Just to explain a little background about what I’m researching for my project. So last year, UCSB received an influx of COVID money from the government in 2020. I believe it was around twenty-two million dollars and the funds seem to be unaccounted for and the university was just not being transparent about where the money was going, what it was doing, and it led to a lot of confusion and then anger among the students. So today I’m here interviewing Taylor Clark, a member of YDSA just to ask him a few questions about the march that was led to demand checks for the students from the COVID relief funds. So can you just tell me a little bit about your involvement In YDSA and the position you hold, and just a little bit of how you got to be so active in this organization? 

So I am YDSA’s co-chair that essentially makes me- It’s similar to a co-president situation, but well, we kind of think of it as like a facilitator in chief. So my role is really to facilitate the priorities we decide on as a chapter. And to the best of my ability to make sure those things are effectively carried out, whatever they may be, at least in theory. Well, what was the rest of your question? 

Just like your involvement and how you got to be so active, like how you got introduced to it?

Yeah. So our chapter of YDSA got started from the UCSB chapter of Students for Bernie in the 2020 presidential campaign after the election. We essentially want to continue organizing and looking for ways to do that, and we felt that the young Democratic Socialists of America best suited our chapters, values and the sort of political project we are pursuing. So in the wake of Bernie’s loss in the election, we essentially voted to transition and become a YDSA chapter. When I was at the time, I was one of the people who was really pushing us to become a YDSA chapter because I didn’t want to, you know, throw in the towel after the campaign. But yeah, I suppose that’s kind of the abridged version of how I got involved in YDSA, after I was what’s called a campus core leader in the Bernie campaign, which is essentially someone who got some training from the campaign itself to then go and organize students, And then after serving as a campus core leader, I ran for co-chair and We wrote a constitution for ourselves as a YDSA chapter, and I got elected as I got like two, two and a half years ago. Something like that weirdly enough. And yeah, just been organizing with YDSA ever since.

Yeah, that’s super great! So I know the way that YDSA is organized is that they bring up a certain topic that people want to discuss, so regarding the COVID money, how did the YDSA chapter find out about the money given to UCSB? And what were the initial steps into digging deeper on what the money was going to be used for or what you guys thought would be the right way for UCSB to use the money? 

Yeah, for sure. So from my memory, it was one of our chapter members at the time whose name is Patrick, Patrick Fairbanks. He essentially, I forgot exactly what sort of turned him onto it, how we found out about it. But some way or another, he sort of discovered that the university had received a lot of money from the federal government in the CARES package, and that for whatever reason, a lot of this money wasn’t being spent. And at first, our approach really was to just figure out what was going on there and why it looked, from our perspective, why the university was just sitting on over $10 million in COVID relief funds? So yeah, yeah, I still have no idea what ended up happening to that money, funny enough. 

Really? That’s Interesting!

Yeah, It’s an interesting follow-up project, like research projects on what exactly it all got spent on, but we haven’t had at the time to do it. Anyway, so yeah, one of our chapter members, Patrick Fairbanks, who later became the chapter secretary for some time, essentially kind of discovered that a lot of the money the university got from the COVID relief fund had not been spent, and we initially started trying to have a conversation with the university. I believe we talked to a few vice-chancellors and other university representatives to essentially just figure out where the money was supposed to go. And the university’s response, in so many words, was essentially that they felt that they needed to save the money because they were running a deficit and, you know, the kind of tagline the catchphrase that, that administration uses whenever they have to justify this sort of thing is, oh, budget cuts. We’re not getting as much money as we used to from the state, etc. So when we brought it up to the vice-chancellor, she essentially said the reason the money hasn’t been spent is because we need to use that money to cover the University’s deficits related to COVID. The ironic thing is that, like she cited budget deficits and decreased state funding as the reason for me to retain the money, but that year, the university had actually received significantly more money from the state than had in previous years. I think to the tune of like sixty million dollars more. 

Oh wow. 

Yeah, a fairly significant sum. So the university actually receives a lot more money from the federal government from federal and state government than the vice-chancellor was essentially kind of implying and didn’t really make sense to say that they needed to hold on to all of that COVID relief money because they’re just this boost in funding from the state for that year.

Especially to say that, you know, that this money was given for COVID relief, but then they’re using it for a deficit, which is for two different purposes. So I could see how people would react with confusion and anger towards that. 

Yeah, absolutely. That’s when we discovered that that was really what the confusion started to turn anger for, I think understandable reasons. And so at that point, we started pivoting towards, well, thinking about the things that would be a lot more useful that that money could be used for. And kind of the immediate thing that came to mind, especially with the relief, like the stimulus checks that were going out at that time was just something that made the most sense. I think that was also something that Patrick initially came up with back in the day. And so we did some simple math and worked out that the amount of money that they were sitting on could be sent to students and about like nine hundred dollars even checks and would effectively use up a lot of the money, but leave a little bit leftover for, like important sanitation work, which the university said that they needed some of the money for, I believe. And from there, we went on to eventually organize a march around it, we talked and unanimously passed a resolution sort of endorsing the idea. And eventually, the university didn’t really give ground, and once summer hit, we kind of lost steam. It was very hard to sort of keep this energy after that. But yeah.

So do you remember anything, based on the research that I did, it seemed like there was a series of emails that were sent between members of YDSA and staff of UCSB. Like, if you don’t remember, it’s perfectly fine, but do you remember the tone of the emails? And if they seemed kind of receptive to the cause of anywhere or where they just kind of more like dismissive of what you guys were trying to do? 

So, yeah, first they were essentially, the first round of emails were essentially sympathetic and saying, “yeah, we understand these are hard times with university needs some money”, and then I personally was not really the person writing emails or sending them, well, I’m not even sure I read them all. It was mostly handled by our secretary at the time. But my understanding from what I remember is that at first university kind of expressed sympathy but then the problem didn’t go away. There was some frustration with that. 

Yeah, yeah. And then from there it seemed like you guys kind of started planning the march after you calculated the numbers. Do you remember the reaction from the staff to the march taking place? Were they dismissive again? Or were they kind of sympathetic to the march taking place? Also, did you have to ask permission? That was the question I wanted to ask. 

Oh no. YDSA historically does not really ask for permission to do these things.

I think, yeah, that’s what I figured.

Yeah, yeah. It’s kind of what my pride points for our chapter is. We just do what we feel like we need to do. Anyway, So I’m sure that, you know, the feelings of staff were not monolithic, and I’m sure some would probably be a lot more sympathetic to the idea than others. The only interaction we had with staff, during and after the march was the vice-chancellor, I think it was the vice-chancellor or someone from an administration, not the person previously. But some folks from administration essentially monitored the march and that was, it was explained to me that that was their substitute for having like a police presence, which is obviously preferable to have a few staff people there instead of police to protest. Yeah. Um, and I expect the folks we talked to then were pretty sympathetic, I don’t think they spoke for the university in any official capacity. I think they were just expressing personal sympathies. And we did try to schedule some follow-up meetings with the university after the march. Again, there were lots of emails that I don’t really remember, but my understanding was that we got kind of stonewalled and I think the university got essentially tired of meeting with us because but they essentially just wanted to say, “We’re holding on to this money for these deficit problems”, and they weren’t. You know, they want to make us happy, but they didn’t want to change their position on the issue. 

Yeah, exactly, yeah. And that’s obviously very frustrating from a student standpoint, knowing that there’s this large sum of money, especially in our position, knowing that we are students and that we need help more than ever, especially because of COVID. So I could see where the frustration would lie on the student side, but for the purpose of the transcription. If you could just go through like the day of the march from what you remember, like kind of the series of events, how people were feeling during the march, like how just the vibe, the overall vibe of the march, just for the purpose of the transcription so people can know what the day kind of felt like. 

 For sure. For sure. So. Marches always have a sort of anxiety leading up to them, at least for the people organizing them, because, you know, you always have this impression that no one’s going to show up. So I think that I remember most from the beginning of the day. It’s like this kind of nervous excitement. We had gotten sort of all the materials together, and I tend to be kind of an early bird. So I was the first person at the site like an hour early or something waiting for other folks to come back. And we started in front of the UCen, and, you know, at first, it’s kind of a trickle of people. We had some music going, and I think some signs and we also had a lot of paraphernalia that say, we had like flags and banners and all sorts of things, which was a lot of fun. Anyway, It’s kind of starts to trickle, a couple of people start coming kind of get set up and then once it’s like ten minutes past the time you say everyone’s supposed to be, that’s when folks actually get there. We got a group of, I think, 40 to 50 people together. And yeah, from there, it was kind of just a matter of you know, again, the chanting and stuff starts to happen. 

And you went to Chancellor Yang’s house correct? Yeah, yeah. Based on the research I did, it didn’t seem like he was home or anything like that.

 It did not seem like that. I’m actually curious where he was at the time.

Yeah, that’s a good question.

Yeah, I wonder if I see he was at like off-campus house or something

I’m sure he was somewhere, and then there was also a letter that he sent, correct? He sent out a letter saying, this is why the checks are not coming. Or maybe it wasn’t him specifically, but I remember getting something in my USCB email.

Oh, that’s interesting. I don’t remember that too concretely. Unfortunately, I think from what I remember, which may very well be wrong because it has been a little while. Yeah, but I think they alluded to it kind of in a larger email as well.

Yeah, yeah. I think that’s what I’m referring to. Yeah, yeah. I remember it was kind of a big deal like a lot of people were talking about it, even my friends who weren’t YDSA and I was kind of like telling them about what was happening and they were like, hh yeah, I heard about that. So I mean, it reached pretty far across campus, which is really cool. Yeah. So I guess we still don’t have a definitive answer about where the money went and maybe like, maybe I can even do a project and research that for the Living History Project, for the thing that I’m doing. But I just felt like this was a huge piece of student activism that absolutely needed to be documented. And I think the Living History Project, which is what I’m a part of, would be the perfect way just to document this to people can or future students or students now can go back and read it and kind of just like, see the university and how they handled the situation and then versus how the students handled the situation. So I just wanted to thank you so much for doing this interview. It was really helpful. And yeah, like I said earlier, once it’s already transcribed, posted to the website and whatnot, I will send you the link and then everyone In YDSA can read it as well. Yeah, thank you so much. 

Cool. All right. Wow. Sounds good. 

Yeah, thank you again for doing this, I really appreciate it.

Sure. Have a good night!

Thank you. You too!


Interviewed by: Jenna Norwood

Vietnamese Student Association

1997


UCSB’s Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) formed in 1997 and has remained true to the organization’s core values since.  It was created by and for a different generation trying to escape political turmoil in their home country. They came to America for respite rather than resettlement and held the temporary mindset that they would eventually return back home.   VSA stemmed from this older generation’s need to lift up and support members of their community during this stressful time of assimilation and integration into a different society. They needed to create their own space where they could hold onto their cultural identities during this time of temporary relocation.  These self-made ethnoburbs allowed the Vietnamese American community to connect, share their experiences, and practice their heritage within an organization that encouraged cultural preservation and community support.

Over the years, VSA has stood by their core values of providing a space space for Vietnamese Americans to exist not only within their own group, but among the entirety of UCSB.  Since its inception, VSA has opened itself up to include not just Vietnamese Americans, but Asian Americans as a whole, creating an even wider and stronger sense of cultural community.  Through events such as Vietnamese Culture Night (VCN), Phở King, Vietnamese Outreach Initiative for College Education (V.O.I.C.E), Anh Chi Em (ACE), and more, VSA has created a cultural family within its own organization and provided a platform to showcase Vietnamese culture with the world.  Vietnamese Culture Night, one of the biggest events hosted by VSA, is an annual, student-run production incorporating dance, spoken word, and singing into a cultural script celebrating and informing the audience about Vietnamese history, culture, and identity. This event is a shining example of providing a sense of community within the contributors of this event while sharing Vietnamese culture with the world through these artistic outlets.  Another outreach program created by VSA is their Vietnamese Outreach Initiative for College Education, or V.O.I.C.E. This conference allows low-income, underrepresented high school students from Orange County, California, to experience a weekend in college and encourage them to seek out higher education. Through campus tours, bonding activities, college prep workshops, and other social and informational events, VSA actively encourages students to pursue higher education and provides them with the support system they need to reach those goals.  In addition to these outreach programs, VSA practices Anh Chi Em within the organization, also known as ACE. The ACE program matches up an Em, a little sister or brother, with an Anh, a big brother, or Chi, big sister. The older siblings are veteran members of VSA introducing new members, or little siblings, into the family. These match-ups instill a sense of family and belonging for new members and perpetuate the strong network and support system stemming from VSA’s origin in 1997.

VSA has grown over these past 21 years into a widespread community for not only Vietnamese Americans, but Asian Americans on campus.  They serve as a safe cultural space to validate Asian American experiences and provide a sense of “home away from home”, says Lilyanne Pham, president of VSA. Through outreach programs and showcasing events, VSA has evolved into more than just a student organization, but into a hub of culture, support, connection, and family.  These core values stand at the heart of UCSB’s Vietnamese Student Association and will continue to uphold this sense of community for years to come.


By: Frances Woo

 

 

Pham, Lilyanne. (2018, November 30). Personal interview.

Vietnamese Student Association, UCSB Vietnamese Student Association, Retrieved from https://www.ucsbvsa.com/

 

Vietnamese Student Association

1997


UCSB’s Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) formed in 1997 and has remained true to the organization’s core values since.  It was created by and for a different generation trying to escape political turmoil in their home country. They came to America for respite rather than resettlement and held the temporary mindset that they would eventually return back home.   VSA stemmed from this older generation’s need to lift up and support members of their community during this stressful time of assimilation and integration into a different society. They needed to create their own space where they could hold onto their cultural identities during this time of temporary relocation.  These self-made ethnoburbs allowed the Vietnamese American community to connect, share their experiences, and practice their heritage within an organization that encouraged cultural preservation and community support.

Over the years, VSA has stood by their core values of providing a space space for Vietnamese Americans to exist not only within their own group, but among the entirety of UCSB.  Since its inception, VSA has opened itself up to include not just Vietnamese Americans, but Asian Americans as a whole, creating an even wider and stronger sense of cultural community.  Through events such as Vietnamese Culture Night (VCN), Phở King, Vietnamese Outreach Initiative for College Education (V.O.I.C.E), Anh Chi Em (ACE), and more, VSA has created a cultural family within its own organization and provided a platform to showcase Vietnamese culture with the world.  Vietnamese Culture Night, one of the biggest events hosted by VSA, is an annual, student-run production incorporating dance, spoken word, and singing into a cultural script celebrating and informing the audience about Vietnamese history, culture, and identity. This event is a shining example of providing a sense of community within the contributors of this event while sharing Vietnamese culture with the world through these artistic outlets.  Another outreach program created by VSA is their Vietnamese Outreach Initiative for College Education, or V.O.I.C.E. This conference allows low-income, underrepresented high school students from Orange County, California, to experience a weekend in college and encourage them to seek out higher education. Through campus tours, bonding activities, college prep workshops, and other social and informational events, VSA actively encourages students to pursue higher education and provides them with the support system they need to reach those goals.  In addition to these outreach programs, VSA practices Anh Chi Em within the organization, also known as ACE. The ACE program matches up an Em, a little sister or brother, with an Anh, a big brother, or Chi, big sister. The older siblings are veteran members of VSA introducing new members, or little siblings, into the family. These match-ups instill a sense of family and belonging for new members and perpetuate the strong network and support system stemming from VSA’s origin in 1997.

VSA has grown over these past 21 years into a widespread community for not only Vietnamese Americans, but Asian Americans on campus.  They serve as a safe cultural space to validate Asian American experiences and provide a sense of “home away from home”, says Lilyanne Pham, president of VSA. Through outreach programs and showcasing events, VSA has evolved into more than just a student organization, but into a hub of culture, support, connection, and family.  These core values stand at the heart of UCSB’s Vietnamese Student Association and will continue to uphold this sense of community for years to come.


By: Frances Woo

Pham, Lilyanne. (2018, November 30). Personal interview.

Vietnamese Student Association, UCSB Vietnamese Student Association, Retrieved from https://www.ucsbvsa.com/

Take Back The Night

1978


The 1970s were filled with monumental changes for women’s rights in the United States, and much of this history can be traced through our very own UCSB community. The first Take Back the Night protest in the US likely took place in San Francisco in 1978, which catalyzed an eruption of marches across the states. Take Back the Night (TBTN) organizations and movements serve to raise awareness of domestic, sexual, and relationship violence, topics that continue to be ignored and undermined to this day.  In 1979, UCSB held its first TBTN protest in response to both the national movement and local hostility. This TBTN student organization continues to thrive, bringing awareness to a topic still ignored to this day.

TBTN organizations across the nation formed during a time of hostile national debates over the necessity for equal rights. The debate around the passing of the Equal Right Amendment not only fueled antagonism between women and men but within the feminist movement itself. Those who supported the passing of the ERA, such as the National Organization for Women (NOW), saw it as a vital step towards eliminating gender-based discrimination. Others saw it as both regressive for women’s rights and the beginning of the complete destruction of traditional American society.

[“Women’s Right Resolution Halted”, Women, Box 58]. University of California, Santa Barbara, Associated Students Records. SBHC Mss 41. Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

The Santa Barbara community was facing hostility on a local level as well. The Isla Vista Women’s Center, hoping to provide refuge for survivors of domestic and sexual violence, initially struggled to assert its presence in the community and receive financial support.

[“Women’s Center seeks funds to continue”, Women, Box 58]. University of California, Santa Barbara, Associated Students Records. SBHC Mss 41. Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

[“New Location Forcing Center to Close Women’s Crash Pad”, Women, box 58]. University of California, Santa Barbara, Associated Students Records. SBHC Mss 41. Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

[“Need for Tougher Sentencing Told by ‘Battered Wives’ Author”, Women, box 58]. University of California, Santa Barbara, Associated Students Records. SBHC Mss 41. Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

[“Task Force Member Indicates Need for Emergency Shelters for ‘Battered Women’”, Women, box 58]. University of California, Santa Barbara, Associated Students Records. SBHC Mss 41. Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Take Back the Night protests were also fueled by the efforts of the Santa Barbara chapter of NOW, which formed in solidarity with the Women’s Center

[“NOW Aims at Womens Issues”, Women, box 58]. University of California, Santa Barbara, Associated Students Records. SBHC Mss 41. Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

The first Take Back the Night protests at UCSB had to face issues with the police Santa Barbara Police Department, who were initially not willing to close State Street for the march because of the extra police they would have to station. While they eventually came to an agreement (see “Santa Barbara Women March Tomorrow – No fear of attack”), this was not the only compromise the organizers had to make. As with many Take Back the Night protests across the country, men had been asked to walk behind the marchers, both as a symbolic gesture and as a form of protection. Jennifer Freed, co-coordinator of 1983 protest, called it a “poor compromise to have men back up the march and walk behind”, but that was a compromise that had to be made “until there is total freedom and equality for everyone”.

[“Santa Barbara Women March Tomorrow – No Fear of Attack”, Women, box 58]. University of California, Santa Barbara, Associated Students Records. SBHC Mss 41. Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

[“Local Marchers Light the Night”, Women, box 58]. University of California, Santa Barbara, Associated Students Records. SBHC Mss 41. Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

As women’s rights organizations have gained momentum over the past forty years, so has UCSB’s Take Back the Night organization. The co-chair of UCSB’s Take Back the Night sees the organization as vital, since “we are the people who make the changes on campus, and we can’t wait for other people to make the changes”. Not only has the organization increased in membership and support, but is continuing to strive for diverse and intersectional perspectives. The co-chair accounts how “especially this year, I think we’ve become more inclusive, because I know TBTN traditionally was about women, but now we’re really acknowledging that it can really happen to any gender, anybody, any race” The organization hosts an annual spring rally and meetings throughout the quarter that provide a safe space for people to talk about their experiences and listen to others.
Our community is still struggling to adequately address sexual, relationship, and domestic violence. One in five women on college campuses has been sexually assaulted during their time there, and UCSB is no exception. Both listening and speaking up are vital to promoting equality, and UCSB’s Take Back the Night is continuing to do just that.


By: Sophia Chupein


Works Cited

TBTN Co-Chair. 2019, February 27th. Personal interview

UCSB Special Collections

Photo Gallery


[Support Group Comic, Students, box 12]. University of California, Santa Barbara, Associated Students Records. SBHC Mss 44. Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

[Materials provided by TBTN Co-Chair]. University of California, Santa Barbara, Associated Students. Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

[Materials provided by TBTN Co-Chair]. University of California, Santa Barbara, Associated Students. Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

[Materials provided by TBTN Co-chair]. University of California, Santa Barbara, Associated Students. Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.
[Materials provided by tbtn co-chair]. University of California, Santa Barbara, Associated Students. Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.
[Materials provided by tbtn co-chair]. University of California, Santa Barbara, Associated Students. Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

KCSB

1962


UCSB’s radio station, KCSB, first started broadcasting in 1962 from Anacapa Hall. The station was founded by sophomore student, Bill Harrison, and friends, and was originally known as Radio Navajo, after the Anacapa floor hey lived in. KCSB’s commitment to non-commercial and educational programming by and for the public has been evident throughout its history. In the aftermath of John F. Kennedy’s assassination in November, 1963, KCSB’s news reporting and provision of logistical information cemented its role in the community and its position as the campus radio station.

During the 1960s, KCSB became the first University of California station to be licensed by the FCC. According to the KCSB website, by the end of the sixties, KCSB’s programming had expanded to include “free-form music, news, campus sports, public affairs, and cultural-arts programs.” While KCSB initially avoided broadcasting controversial rock music, the very nature of its mission to provide diverse music, news, and information unhindered by commercial interests to its community, already made it the subject of unwelcome attention.

The early seventies were a rocky time – students in Isla Vista protested the Vietnam War, slum conditions, over-policing, and large corporations. KCSB’s reporting of the turmoil occurring in Isla Vista led to the police ordering  the station to shut down in April 1970. KCSB is the only licensed radio station to ever be shut down by the police this way, and while it was soon brought back on air, this event remains a crucial aspect of KCSB history because it serves as a demonstration of its commitment to providing the community with necessary information and representing unheard voices.

(1970, April 19). “KCSB ordered shut down; Ban in effect during curfew.” El Gaucho, p. 1.

 

Throughout its time at UCSB, KCSB has worked to connect with the student community and beyond. Community members run the station in a democratic, collaborative, and group oriented way. According to Ted Coe, KCSB’s advisor, “nothing exists [on campus] that’s quite like KCSB – a focus on the arts, a focus on underrepresented voices, emerging talent, people who don’t have corporate major level backing. There’s a focus on trying to help the little people that don’t have that support, and the ordinary folks, and that’s really unusual.” The station’s focus on representing voices in music and public affairs that could otherwise be drowned out by corporate interest makes it a natural part of student activism at UCSB. Students and community members who get involved with the station bring their activism with them, and the programs they create and news they share are shaped by their commitment to these ideals. KCSB highlights people from marginalized communities, people with political messages, people who would otherwise be ignored by more commercial stations focused on immediate profit. For example, students have put together programs dedicated to women in domestic and international music. KCSB also works to create events in the community, ranging from shows supporting local musicians to organizing panel discussions on topics such as environmental racism and natural disasters.

At its core, KCSB is about serving the community through its provision of music, art, and news that clearly differs from stations influenced by commercial interest. KCSB creates an opportunity for students to discover underrepresented musicians, learn about music and public affairs, and share their passions by listening to the station and participating in it. The station’s history shows its commitment to presenting the UCSB community with an educational platform dedicated to expanding the community’s sphere of interest while also connecting us through their creation and coverage of local events.


By: Mara Stojanovic

Featured Image: 1978 Staff photo, pulled from KCSB
[Coe, T. (2019, March 8). Personal interview.]
[KCSB, KCSB-FM, Retrieved from https://www.kcsb.org/.]
[(1970, April 19). “KCSB ordered shut down; Ban in effect during curfew.” El Gaucho, p. 1. https://alexandria.ucsb.edu/downloads/5h73px13f.]

Hunger Strikes

April-May 1994


In 1994, eight students participated in a hunger strike from April 27 to May 5. As members of El Congreso, a Chican@/Latin@ support group and political student organization, these students were striking to bring attention to the university’s repeated dismissal of the needs of Chican@ students. They outlined their demands in a statement titled, “Our Struggle,” announcing their strike as part of an effort to “fight for a better life for students… to help all peoples who are fighting for social justice.” Students called for actions such as the establishment of a Chican@ Studies Ph.D. program, adherence to the United Farm Workers Union grape boycott, and increased recruitment and retention of Chican@ and Latin@ students.

[(El Congreso, 1994, May 3). “Our Struggle.” Daily Nexus, p. 7. https://alexandria.ucsb.edu/downloads/tx31qj818.]

 

Claudia Leiva, Alma Flores, André Vasquez, Edwin Lopéz, Tino Gutierrez, Gilberto Limón, Heather Gonzalez, Salvador Barajas and Naomi Garcia camped out in front of Cheadle Hall during their strike and together with the rest of El Congreso organized rallies to demonstrate further support and push for a response from the administration. During that time, the students only consumed water. This kind of protest was not a sudden or unprecedented course of action. Students also carried out a hunger strike in 1989, with demands including the implementation of a general education ethnicity requirement. The continuous efforts of Chican@ students to push for reform highlights the difficulty of achieving institutional change.

(“Procession – March – Rally” flyer, Folder 1, Box 1). University of California, Santa Barbara, El Congreso Collection, UArch 104. Department of Special Collections, Davidson Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.]

 

[(C-J Conklin, 1994, May 5). “Students, Administrators Still Negotiating.” Daily Nexus, p. 1. https://alexandria.ucsb.edu/downloads/mp48sf073.]
[(“Viva La Huelga” article, Folder 19, Box 1). University of California, Santa Barbara, UCSB Ethnic Studies Protests Collection, CEMA 93. Department of Special Collections, Davidson Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.]

 

Reactions to the strike among the students were mixed. Some students decried their tactics as extreme and unnecessary in a series of letters to the Daily Nexus, and others published articles such as Kathryn Mulligan’s “We Whites Want Equality and Justice.” These students didn’t see a pressing need for the fulfillment of El Congreso’s demands or understand the frustrations faced by the Chican@ student population, particularly when dealing with the university.

[(Brett Orlanski, 1994, May 4). “To Die For.” Daily Nexus, p. 10. https://alexandria.ucsb.edu/downloads/k930bz15n.]

(“We Whites Want Equality and Justice” article, Folder 19, Box 1). University of California, Santa Barbara, UCSB Ethnic Studies Protests Collection. CEMA 93. Department of Special Collections, Davidson Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.]

 

Not all of the community reactions were negative. Students also received an outpouring of support from family, faculty, and fellow students. Many students responded in particular to Brett Orlanski’s letter to the editor. One staunch defender called the strike a demonstration of “guts, intent and unbending will.” Others, such as the A.S. Women’s Commission, simply shared their belief that “the issues the students are striking for – fees, EOP, the Chicana/o Studies Dept., the grape boycott and a diversified student body – concern us all.” They recognized the strike as a response to a pattern of neglect and indifference.

 

 

[(1994, May 5). “Striking Distance.” Daily Nexus, p. 5. https://alexandria.ucsb.edu/downloads/mp48sf073.]

 

After a series of meetings and email exchanges with the administration, the strikers ended their fast on May 5, bringing the length of their strike up to nine days. The administration and students signed a formal agreement delineating the university’s commitment to meeting El Congreso’s demands. Students, parents, and supporters celebrated, viewing the event as a step forward for the Chican@ student community.

[(“Hunger Strike Ends with Agreement And Breaking of Bread” article, Box 1). University of California, Santa Barbara, UCSB Ethnic Studies Protests Collection. CEMA 93. Department of Special Collections, Davidson Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.]

 

[(“Status of Hunger Strike Demands” flyer, Box 1). University of California, Santa Barbara, UCSB Ethnic Studies Protests Collection. CEMA 93. Department of Special Collections, Davidson Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.]

 

A follow-up on the status of those demands, however, showed a lack of progress and lagging implementation of the points formally agreed to by the university. This kind of non-response demonstrates the difficulty of achieving reform at a college campus full of administrative roadblocks. Despite the slow initial progress, the efforts of the strikers and El Congreso paid off. In a fact sheet describing their demands, students said that “these issues are not new. These demands are not new. It has been 25 years and the administration still has not kept its promises or fulfilled its responsibilities to students and the community… we want to see results now, not in another 25 years.” Twenty-five years later, UCSB has a strong Chican@ Studies department and PH.d. program. Students must push continuously for their voices to be heard and valued by the university, and even then progress is often slow and frustrating.  


By: Mara Stojanovic

Vietnam War Protests

May 1965


College students played an indispensable role in the anti-Vietnam war movement during the 1970s, and UCSB was no exception. Beginning in May of 1965, students protested and discussed the war in every way imaginable. Students participated through draft resistance, engaging in faculty discussions, attending teach-ins, and joining organizations such as the Student Peace Committee (see below). A large part of the UCSB student body, however, did not view these forums as adequate measures to protest the Johnson administration’s foreign policy measures. Student protests, both peaceful and violent, erupted across America as the U.S Army continually invaded and bombed Southeast Asia beginning in 1965. The validity of the UCSB Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) was being brought into question during this time as well, since many students believed its actions should be more accommodating to protestors. UCSB students expressed their vehement anger towards U.S foreign policy through a series of violent protests in 1967, causing thousands of dollars worth of property damage in Isla Vista and the temporary shutdown of the Santa Barbara Airport. These protests sent an unfiltered message to the U.S Government: that they would be held accountable for their decisions, no matter what the cost.

[(“New Draft Policy”, University of California, Santa Barbara, Student Organizations Collection, Box 4). University of California, Santa Barbara, Associated Students Records. UArch 101. Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.]

[(“Are You in Favor of Peace in Vietnam”, University of California, Santa Barbara, Student Organizations Collection, Box 4). University of California, Santa Barbara, Associated Students Records. UArch 101. Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.]

[(“University Committee on War and Peace”, University of California, Santa Barbara, Student Organizations Collection, Box 10). University of California, Santa Barbara, Associated Students Records. UArch 101. Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.]

 

Protests, marches, and calls to action were ubiquitous around campus. These took the form of movie showings, theater productions, lectures, speeches, and artwork. Here are some of the many postings reminding students of the urgency of protest and circumstances of the war:

[(Matson, R. 1971, November 3). “The Time to Act is Now.” Daily Nexus, Retrieved from https://www.alexandria.ucsb.edu/downloads/t148fj11g]
[(Okamura/OPS 1972, April 19). Daily Nexus, Retrieved from https://www.alexandria.ucsb.edu/downloads/3x816n74p]
[(Levine, D 1973, May 11). Daily Nexus, Retrieved from https://www.alexandria.ucsb.edu/downloads/rj4305584]
[(1967, October 20). “Scoreboard” El Gaucho, Retrieved from https://www.alexandria.ucsb.edu/downloads/bk128b88g]

 

In October of 1965, Students for Free Political Action (SFPA) sponsored the first teach-ins, movie screenings, and speeches from nationally recognized activists at UCSB. October also marked the first of many rallies in opposition to the war, which in turn sparked the first student conflicts regarding the morality of America’s involvement in Vietnam. For instance, the previously inactive Young Americans for Freedom group mobilized in 1965 in order to protest SFPA actions on campus.

[(Winograd, B. 1965, October 15). “Viet Nam protest today; vigil stirs counter-pickets” El Gaucho, https://www.alexandria.ucsb.edu/downloads/h128nf83m]

 

Joan Baez, a widely known folk songwriter and activist, came to UCSB in October of 1966 to speak in David Arnold’s Sociology 128 class about the war in Vietnam, non-violence, and taking political action. Joan Baez was a part of the outspoken liberal minority that had been speaking out against U.S involvement in Vietnam since the beginning of the conflict.

[(Shelton, J. 1966, October 20). “Joan Baez describes Non Violence School” El Gaucho, Retrieved from https://www.alexandria.ucsb.edu/downloads/mp48sd947]
[(Shelton, J. 1966, October 20). “Non-Violent revolt asked by pacifist” El Gaucho, Retrieved from https://www.alexandria.ucsb.edu/downloads/mp48sd947]

 

Though Baez’s non-violent rhetoric resonated with many UCSB students, frustration with the war and the rise of organized student activism in the 1960s mobilized thousands of UCSB students. 1967 was filled with both peaceful and violent student protests. One of the primary debates within the UCSB student body was regarding the rights of the ROTC. The ROTC was voluntarily established at UCSB shortly after World War II and provided a way for male students during this period to fulfill their military obligations. When student protestors began attacking the ROTC during the height of the war, many students defended the military program, claiming that ROTC officers were facing injustice and stereotyping. Major Bailey told the Daily Nexus in 1967 that the ROTC faculty members would “jump at the chance to discuss the issues with anyone willing to take the time…Pacifist attacks such as those witnessed here recently do not help matters any” (1971, November 3) Daily Nexus.

[(1968, October 17) El Gaucho, Retrieved from https://www.alexandria.ucsb.edu/downloads/bg257g27q]

 

During Fall Quarter of 1967, The Daily Nexus and El Gaucho were covered with letters to the editor about how the ROTC should handle student activism, and whether or not the ROTC should be considered for academic credit. It was during this period that widespread disillusionment with the war began reaching the general American public. The televised atrocities of the war and the exponentially rising cost to taxpayers was becoming increasingly evident. The Student Peace Committee was a prominent voice in the ROTC debate.

[(Samuelsen, M. 1967, October 3). “Peace Committee ROTC Clash on ‘Academic’ Debate” El Gaucho, Retrieved from https://www.alexandria.ucsb.edu/downloads/tq57ns101]

 

Perspectives on the ROTC debate took on many forms. Many students viewed protests against the military institution as unjust and unsubstantiated. While most of these opinions were made public through the Daily Nexus, a group of students and Santa Barbara citizens formed an organization called “Friends of the ROTC”, which defended the military group’s role on campus (see below).

[(Hankins, J. 1971, November 3). “‘Friends of ROTC’ Formed by Santa Barbara Citizens” El Gaucho, Retrieved from https://www.alexandria.ucsb.edu/downloads/ww72bc81w]

 

[(Russ, B. 1967, October 18). “A Defence of ROTC” El Gaucho,  Retrieved from https://www.alexandria.ucsb.edu/downloads/r494vm27z]

 

[(Russ, B. 1967, October 18). “A Defence of ROTC” El Gaucho,  Retrieved from https://www.alexandria.ucsb.edu/downloads/r494vm27z]
[(Krend, J. 1967, October 31). “ROTC Dispute Rages on” El Gaucho, Retrieved from https://www.alexandria.ucsb.edu/downloads/9s161716b]

 

Each escalation of U.S involvement in the war brought with it a new wave of student protest. When the Nixon administration approved the U.S invasion of Cambodia in 1970, rising anti-war sentiments coalesced into an unprecedented national student strike. The magnitude of this strike delivered an ultimatum to the U.S government, warning that if the U.S extends the invasion in Southeast Asia, turmoil will ensue on the home front.

[(“The U.S. Military has Invaded Cambodia”, University of California, Santa Barbara, Student Organizations Collection, Box 10). University of California, Santa Barbara, Associated Students Records. UArch 101. Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.]

 

When Nixon and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger further escalated the war through implementing Operation Linebacker in 1972, UCSB students grew furious. The day after the bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong, students shut down the Santa Barbara airport, resulting in the cancelation of all flights for that day. The violence of these riots resulted in one person falling from a three-story building, while 13 others were arrested.

[(Rimer, S; Haight, A. 1972, May 10). “2,500 shut down S.B. airport” Daily Nexus, Retrieved from https://www.alexandria.ucsb.edu/downloads/mp48sd972]

 

When police forces tried to subdue the protest at 9:30 pm, students began yelling “freeway!”, and headed to Hollister Avenue and Highway 101. By 10:00 pm, when students realized a fence stood between them and the highway, they began walking back to IV, telling police officers they wanted no confrontation. A police car then sped directly towards the back of the marching group and swerved off the road, injuring and arresting protestors. As police officers continued to drive through the crowds, one woman parked on Hollister told the Daily Nexus “Well they must have been [beating protestors], didn’t you hear the screaming?”. At 10:35 pm, a bonfire was set off in Perfect Park, and protestors began marching through IV to gain members for a march on the ROTC. When the group was confronted by the ROTC, a protestor drove his car directly into the line of ROTC members. As rocks were being thrown back and forth, the ROTC threw a total of five canisters of tear gas into the crowd on Pardall. By 2:00 am the demonstrators had dispersed (Rimer, S. 1972, May 11. Daily Nexus).

[(Cline, V. 1972, May 10). “Night actions rock Isla Vista” Daily Nexus, Retrieved from https://www.alexandria.ucsb.edu/downloads/mp48sd972]

 

[(Eber, R.1972, May 11). “Riot damage in Tuesday action at approximately $6,000” Daily Nexus, Retrieved from https://www.alexandria.ucsb.edu/downloads/g445cf259]

 

This event angered many students who felt that these violent protests were unjustified, as demonstrated by this letter to the editor of the Daily Nexus:

[(Randall, T. 1972, May 10). “Letter to the Editor” Daily Nexus, Retrieved from https://www.alexandria.ucsb.edu/downloads/mp48sd972]

 

The following day, 1,000 UCSB students gathered on the UCen lawn to continue the anti-war rally. They marched throughout campus and into Oglesby’s History of California class in Campbell Hall, gathering more and more students as they went. Before the Isla Vista rally later that day, about 250 students confronted 25 ROTC officers at the ROTC building. “One officer was hit by a can and knocked down…two students climbed on top of the building, and 10 students were eventually allowed to enter the building to speak with Army Officers” (Daily Nexus, May 10 1972).

On May 11th, the following day, Ronald Reagan walked off his helicopter onto Santa Barbara grounds, where he was greeted by 1,000 demonstrators. While 1,200 members of Santa Barbara’s social elite dined with Reagan, the demonstrators (mostly from UCSB) sang and chanted outside. No confrontational or violent incidents occurred.

The events that occurred during these years at UCSB reflected the anger, disappointment, and frustration of students with the U.S government’s decisions. The debates, teach-ins, rallies, and protests that took place on campus are testaments to the abilities of young people to enact meaningful change. The Santa Barbara airport protestors received national news coverage from NBC and CBS, mirroring the American public’s growing opposition to the Vietnam war. Additionally, reactions to the anti-war protests demonstrated the wide range of political opinions that have always been present on the UCSB campus, and how social unrest can facilitate meaningful debate.


By: Sophia Chupein

North Hall Takeover

October 14th, 1968


“Today Black University students, like the Black freedom movement of which they are a leading part, take change within the community as the point of departure for their social and political involvement.”


On October 14th, 1968, members of the Black Student Union organized to give voice to campus injustice.  They demanded that UCSB take action to support the Black students on campus and implement a Black Studies Department educating students and faculty alike about the complexities of the Black experience.  Sixteen members pioneered the movement, barricading themselves in the North Hall computer center around 6:30am:

(Bettinger, Oct. 1968, El Gaucho)

 

They were tired of being ignored and took to North Hall to force the Chancellor to accept this list of demands:

  • “The establishment of a commission designed to investigate problems resulting from personal or individual racism
  • The development of a college of Black Studies
  • Reaffirmation of President Hitch’s directive calling for increased hiring of minority persons
  • The hiring of a black female counselor for the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)
  • The appointment of black coaches ‘whenever this becomes possible’
  • Non-condonement of any harassment by any students, whatever color
  • The development of a community relations staff ‘to be actively prosecuted’
  • Asking for the firing of Athletic Director Jack Curtice and Arthur Gallon, head of the Physical Activities department” (Bettinger, 1968).

According to Bettinger, there was a tentative mood shift throughout the protest, beginning with a small crowd of students throwing food at the Black students barricading the hall, to around 1,000 people supporting these students by bringing them food and maintaining a mellow crowd.  

Andrea Estrada’s article reflecting on the North Hall Takeover 50 Years Later says, “UC Santa Barbara undergraduate Booker Banks played a key role in the occupation, using a microphone to mesmerize, inform and entertain the large number of white students who surrounded the building”.

Sanya Kamidi and Sofia Mejias-Pascoe, Assistant News Editors for the Daily Nexus, report that, “students planned the ‘high-risk operation’ two weeks in advance.  BSU members located all the exits in the building, prepared for attempted infiltration from police and threats of violence. They also determined how they would communicate and negotiate with key players on the outside” in their article titled, 50 Years, 12 Student and the Takeover That Changed Everything.

During the protest, there were several instances of opposition, from individual outcries to one student physically attempting to end the demonstration:

(Henry, Oct. 1968, El Gaucho)

 

The Black students inside deterred him using a fire extinguisher, and as Dooley was being treated for a slashed hand, he said, “‘Their gripes are petty…there’s no real racism on this campus, nothing overt anyway’”.

Later that day, Chancellor Vernon I. Cheadle accepted 7 out of 8 recommendations, not agreeing to the demand to fire the “Athletic Director Jack Curtis and Arthur Gallon, head of the Physical Activities department”.

Almost a year after negotiations, the Proposal For a Black Studies Program at UCSB was finally created, outlining the administrative and academic set-up of the department.  The introduction states, “Black Studies, thus, represent the conceptualization and programming of the Black community’s aspirations as they affect the university…in short, Black students are seeking to realize a genuine freedom of expression within the university and society-at-large”. 

[Proposal For a Black Studies Program at UCSB, Proposal for Black & Chicano Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, Department of Black Studies Records, UArch 14, Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.]

 

In the Spring of 1968, one year before the North Hall Takeover, the Afro-American Student Union proposed a similar UC-wide document titled Proposal For Establishing a Black Studies Program to the University of California.  

[Proposal For Establishing a Black Studies Program, Original Formation of Black Studies,, 1968-1971, University of California, Santa Barbara, Department of Black Studies Records, UArch 14, Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.]

 

In it, they stipulate the same goals and issues that the BSU expressed during the North Hall Takeover.  This document, published months before the Takeover, may have possibly served as inspiration and influenced the BSU’s  demand for change at UCSB.

When the administration ignored their griefs, Black students turned towards each other to fight against the injustice they experienced on campus.  BSU members faced a myriad of obstacles, including threats of suspension, a violent student, and an unsure, tense crowd, to make their voices heard.  The North Hall Takeover stands as a powerful example of student action, and opened the door for establishing future Ethnic and Gender Studies departments at UCSB.


By: Frances Woo