As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness, To the end, to the end, they remain,” ― Laurence Binyon. There is a tunnel that allows us to access an easy passage way through the campus to the Isla Vista a small town connected to UCSB. However, this tunnel is more than just that, the only way to literally and figuratively understand it is by viewing it in a different way. The time to see it is when it is dark, because at night you can see it doing more than just being a passage way for students. This location site is called the Pardall Light Tunnel.
The creation of this intentional memorialization was one of the many lights created by students and faculties that volunteered themselves out of generosity to create this organization that will create illuminations throughout the University of Santa Barbara and the Isla Vista community.The group that had inspired the plan all came together to brainstorm ideas such as illuminating the areas of the community where it is much needed.The best feature of the tunnel in all is the way the lights follow your movement in every step you take closer to the other side. The one rope sized light will turn off the brightness and then change to clear, until you move on to the next light and till you meet the end of the tunnel.
This tunnel has its beauty but behind it, it carries a collective memory that all students of UCSB and the community of Isla Vista have in common. Even if you were there or not there to experience it first-hand. The May 23 2014 Isla Vista Massacre leaving more than a dozen injured and six killed. All of them being students that went to UCSB, leaving many friends and family emotionally injured. The lights bring back the memory to memorialize the people who were lost and the people affected by this tragedy.With the Pardall light installation taken place it has kept the memory of the community strength alive.
The location specifically helps provide the support it needs to keep a positive memory alive. It is placed in the middle of where the school campus and Isla vista neighborhood meets. This acts as a symbolization of how two communities can come together, and support each other in a time of need. The lights that come with the tunnel guides whoever walks underneath the tunnel to their destination. Keeping in mind that these lights will symbolize the future we all have as long as we are here, a bright and strong future. Rather than only commemorating those we have lost and giving a memorial that can be nostalgically sad.
When I first visited the campus I had no idea of the Pardall tunnel, its light because of the time of day I would always see it. The only time you can fully experience the purpose for the tunnel is at night because you can clearly see the lights as you walk through the tunnel. Once finding out the history of the tunnel and its purpose, I had realized it’s supposed to bring enlightenment and comfort when knowing that once you walk or bike through you will be welcomed. You will be welcomed to be a part of the community that intertwines with UCSB and Isla Vista.
This tunnel is supposed to remind us that we can depend on others and feel comfortable and safe within this community. Our school also praises these types of memorials because of its different effects on students, because we may not have come from a place that has had that type of support system. The lights will show each student that they can be guided through their hard times because others in the past have. lights will last us as long as the school preserves it and appreciates its purpose of still being there after the tragedy. We need this to be on campus because it commemorates those who have gone and those who are still here, but in a positive manner. With the positive manner that is being shown from the tunnel, it will not always bring back the memories of the past, but of the good that came out of it at the end. Which was a working community that can be guided to better things for students and Isla Vista residents.