May 23, 2015 marks the one year anniversary and the installation of the lights in Pardall Tunnel, the memorial site of the Isla Vista shooting that occured in 2014. On this day both communities came together to walked through Pardall Tunnel into Isla Vista to remember the victims of the shooting. This tunnel brings one from Isla Vista into UCSB or vice versa.
The installation of LED lights and senors in Pardall Tunnel was made a reality due to the sponsored of UCSB’s Academic Senate. As well as the partnership of Kim Yasuda, an art professor at UCSB, and Marcos Novak, from the Media Arts and Technology program. And especially with the help of students, faculty, local businesses and the Isla Vista and Gaucho community.
Pardall Tunnel is more than a beautiful lighted up tunnel where the lights follow you from beginning to end, it is a memorial site that makes many remember this day and the stories that have been told on the day of the shooting. A story that stood out to me was that of a co-worker who graduated. As a Rec Cen worker we are trained to be CPR and First Aid certified. When the shooting occurred he was walking down Trigo Rd when he heard the gun shots. He duck down and waited for the car to drive by and for the sound of gunshots to be gone. He then ran to the corner of 711 where he saw a shot victim and started to perform CPR on them. Unfortunately the victim still passed away but my co-worker said that every time he passed through Pardall Tunnel he remembers the victim he tried saving. This site became the most touching and memorable site on campus for him. Pardall Tunnel to me is one of the most significant memorial sites of the Isla Vista Shooting. I believe this because every time I go through this tunnel I remember the incident that happened two years ago. Unlike IV Deli or the Sorority house, which are one of the few places were the victims were shot and killed. Every time I pass these places I do not remember or think about the shooting. Unlike the Pardall tunnel, when I first came to visit the school I knew the significance and story behind this lighted up tunnel. Not only does Pardall Tunnel helps us remember the shooting of Isla Vista and the victims, but it also brings the two communities together. It makes UCSB and Isla Vista one, united, and strong Gaucho community. Even though I was not here during the shooting, Pardall Tunnel is and will always remind me of a tragic event that occurred in a place I now call home and a memorial site that brings the community together with brightness and support.
What individuals may be thinking of when passing through the tunnel is the victims of the shooting as well as how cool and beautiful the lights in the tunnel are. This site externalizes the remembrance of the victims and the tragic day the shooting occur. The victims who passed away on this day are Christopher Martinez, Veronika Weiss, Katie Cooper, Cheng Yuan Hong, Weihan Wang and George Chen. George and Weihan were both found stabbed in Rodger’s apartment. Katie and Veronika were killed in front of the Alpha Phi sorority house. Christopher was killed in front of I.V. Deli Mart. All these victims had promising futures and were all victims of Rodger’s rage towards women and the world. These victims have and will always be remember and be the center of the memorial site Pardall Tunnel and of the Isla Vista shooting.
For more information on the one year anniversary of the Isla Vista shooting and the significance of Parallel Tunnel for students click here for a video.