The Pardall Tunnel: Meaning Behind Light Installation

The “BlueNite” event was led by the UCSB and Isla Vista community in which they all held blue LED lights and “walked in peace” to the Perfect Park Memorial in downtown Isla Vista.

Before May 23 of 2014, the Pardall Tunnel represented a walk way for pedestrians to make their way into Isla Vista. The tragedy that happened on May 23, 2014 consisted of a 22- year old who took the lives of six UCSB students due to the lack of attention women gave him throughout his life. A year later as a tribute to the lives that were lost that night, the Pardall Tunnel “uniquely” lit up. The community was called BLUNITE; they were inspired to add lights to the tunnel due to their vision of helping IV residents come together as a whole once again and show their solidarity through light, after aa serious of darkness. (The UCSB Current 2015)


Many people walked through the Pardall tunnel in memory of those six UCSB students lives that were lost.

The Pardall light installation idea came from Kim Yasuda, an art professor at UCSB, who wanted to “illuminate” Isla Vista. Along with Kim Yasuda, Marcos Novak of the Media Arts and Technology program, also contributed to the new design of the tunnel. The light installation was inspired to serve the Isla Vista community as a campus memorial and has become a permanent feature of the campus.


A year later, May 23, 2015 the UCSB and Isla Vista community come together for the Candlelight and March to mourn the victims.

A year later as a tribute to the lives that were lost that night, the Pardall Tunnel “uniquely” lit up. Now the tunnel has a significant meaning behind it; the Pardall Tunnel now has sensors and LED bulbs that “illuminate people as they walk or bike” through the bridge in which holds a remembrance to those six UCSB students that were killed that night. (KEYT 2015)


Photo of Pardall Tunnel during the night time.

As I walk through the tunnel I wonder if the only reason for these lights to be installed was as a remembrance, what if they were put there for another reason? Tunnels aren’t safe at night especially if you can’t see anything. I have to look into that. The particular tunnel helps us remember the lives of students that where lost that day and how united the UCSB community is to have done so much to make sure that the lives of the six students would never be forgotten. Lights, according to Joanna Swett’s poem, “What Does Light Represent?” are a representation of an opening to a dark cave. Personally, I believe that it could not fit the tunnel any better. Before when the tunnel did not have lights it served as a dark cave, now that the lights have been added there is light while walking through the tunnel at night it is no longer dark. As I talked to students that are aware of the tunnel and the reasons as to why the lights were installed they all seemed to conclude that they served as both a memorial and safety precaution for those out late at night in IV (Isla Vista).


Students gathered for a candlelight vigil on the University of California Santa Barbara campus May 24, 2014 to remember those killed Friday night during a rampage in nearby Isla Vista.

The purpose for the tunnel is that it symbolizes/represents the six UCSB lives that were lost and also the community. The reason as to why the tunnel portrays the community is because of the light installation; it was inspired by the 2014 student candlelight vigil that consisted of 5000 participants a couple days after the tragic incident that took place in Isla Vista near the UCSB campus.

Collective memory really comes into place when it comes to memorials like these, in which they hold a significant representation of something tragic that has happened or taken place around the community, such as the Pardall Tunnel. In the excerpt called “What is Collective Memory?” Dee Britton states, “Sites of violent tragedy are sanctified when society transforms a previously profane site to sacred status. A sanctified site is a public place that is reserved for the memory of a specific person or group of people; there is typically a durable marker that has been officially ordained during some form of dedication ceremony;” which relates to the Pardall tunnel and its meaning behind why people remember the tragic day. For instance, as Britton states how people turn a normal site to something that means a lot more, once it gets turned into a memorial.

For more information on the one year anniversary of the Isla Vista shooting and the connection the Pardall tunnel light installation has to it click here.


Changes In History: The Story Behind The Murals

Everyday we walk past different landmarks and plaques that we might not even know of their existence.  We see them, think they look pretty, and continue with our day without knowing how important they are.  An example of these landmarks would be the murals placed of UCSBs North Hall.  Many people see them admire them and have a slight idea of what is going on in the image.  But what if you could know the story of what went on that day and the important changes it created?

The History:

Video: The history behind the murals and how its impacts today



Changing the name of “North Hall”to “Malcolm X Hall” as part of their protest.(taken by author)

What occurred in 1986?:

Back in 1968 a group of twelve students decided they had enough of not being treated the same or having the same privileges as the rest of the students.  These students locked themselves inside of North Hall in protest for these rights they believed all students should have.  While being locked within the building they gained a lot of attention and brought in tons of people that crowded the entrance to see what was going on.  Their protest


Images of the students protesting within the building. (taken by author)

brought in a huge crowd filled with people that supported what they were doing and those who didn’t favor any or their actions.  Although they were in the building for a long time these students did not struggle because the crowd they gained would help them by bringing them food and surrounding the building.  The protest continued for many hours, but after staying in the building and being dedicated to their protest the students were able to leave with a joy of accomplishment by ending their protest with a lot of their demands met.

The After Effect:


The large crowd that was brought in when they became aware of the protest. (taken by author)


Protestors inside the building and those assisting/protesting from outside. (taken by author)

Today the hard work that this small group of students put in play back in 1968 is remembered with a few enlarged photographic murals that were placed on both walls at the entrance of North Hall.  These images take us back to the time period of the protest and remind us of the changes that were made during this time because of the protest.  We get to see and actual visual representation what the protest looked like and in a way be able to live in that moment when we know everything that occurred.  These images would have not existed if a group of students in 2012 hadn’t demanded they to be made and placed in memory of what had occurred.  Without these images and the students that demanded them to be put up in 2012 many students and visitors would not know about the history of UCSB and the many lives that were affected by this single protest a group of students created.  With the creation of these images people are now able to have a memory of this day by looking at the images and know about this day by reading the plaque and paper on the wall about this day .

Want More Information:

These murals are a great representation of the history and development of the UCSB campus.  Other than these murals there are many objects with a rich history behind them in UCSB and its local college town “Isla Vista”.  For those interested in researching more about UCSBs history you can simply go online and type in your interests or visit the UCSB campus.  Many artifacts include plaques describing there events and information about them which out be an easier form of looking into them for many people.  For example, the following images of a plaque describing the images and how the murals came to exist at North Hall and a news paper article written after the event back in 1968.


Names of Engineering Buildings

When I was working on my case study about Harold Frank Hall, an engineering building of UCSB, I found the names of buildings interesting because when I lived in China, I seldom saw engineering buildings named after a businessman in prestigious universities, though I had visited most of the first-tier universities in Shanghai by the time I left for the U.S. American colleges, in contrast, name science and engineering buildings in a different way.

Universities in the U.S. name engineering buildings in various ways and largely depend on donations. Chinese universities seldom name engineering buildings after businessmen. Instead, Chinese universities simply use the name of the department in the building as a part of the building’s name. According to my experience in China, if a top university names its engineering building after a businessman who gives a lot of money to the university, Chinese will probably think it is strange because in China it is more reasonable to name an engineering building after a great scientist or a great engineer who contributed a lot to the related field if the building’s name indeed needs to store a memory about someone. This interesting difference embodies cultural differences between China and the U.S. Meanwhile, the sources of funds for universities in China and America are very different. Universities in America receive and rely on public donations mainly from their alumni. This is important for private universities like Stanford University. In contrast, all of the prestigious Chinese universities are owned by and have funds directly from the Chinese government, which means public donations are not necessary.



Harold Frank Hall, University of California, Santa Barbara


Harold Frank was an electrical engineering student at Washington University who later founded Applied Magnetics, which Harold Frank led to a huge success. During my case study, the associate Dean of the college of engineering told me the reason for the engineering hall naming after him is his donation. Nonetheless, his glorious company bankrupted in 2001 and nowadays I think UCSB students does not own many memories related to him, though the plaque in Harold Frank states that he motivated many engineering students with his career story.


Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center, Stanford University




When I did a google search for information about this center, a familiar name and a familiar face of a man showed up but I could not remember where I saw them until I read this man’s background. Jen-Hsun Huang is the president and CEO of Nvidia, which is a world-wide known company known for its descent hardware production and quality. Then I recalled that I watched an hour-long video about Nvidia’s new technology for automobile and deep learning, in which Huang gave a long speech. [I was surprised by the fact that Huang’s name is on the engineering center of Stanford because I thought]. According to Stanford’s official website and a video posted on Youtube, Jen-Hsun Huang donated much money to Huang Engineering Center, Stanford’s new engineering building. From my perspective, it is wise of Huang to denote money to Stanford, through which he becomes famous among freshmen in Stanford every year and thus he can easily recruit excellent engineering students from the college.



Bechtel Engineering Center, University of California, Berkeley


An engineering building of University of California, Berkeley, is named after Stephen Bechtel. Amusingly, when I used the search engine provided by Stanford on its website for college of engineering to gather information about Bechtel, I gained nothing. However, thanks to Bechtel company, which is still working today and has its official website, I found Bechtel’s story from a reliable source. Stephen Bechtel was once a college student who studied in UCB after he served in World War I. Nonetheless, he dropped out later and joined his father’s business. At the age of 30, Bechtel operated Bechtel company as the CEO. After his dad’s death, he was totally in charge of his company. Then he led his company to a great success, like Harold Frank and Jen-Hsun Huang. There are no direct clues about his contributions to UCB online but I guess the reason for his last name as a part of the engineering building of UCB is that he donated a lot of money to UCB.


Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tsinghua University (Beijing, China)



College of Engineering of Tsinghua University is one of the best engineering schools throughout the world. Not like top colleges in U.S., Tsinghua does not name its engineering buildings after a specific person.


Department of Mechanical Engineering, Shanghai Jiaotong University



Like Tsinghua, one of the engineering buildings of Jiaotong University does not have any special meaning.


Work Cited List

Peterson, Nancy. “Huang Center Dedicated, Lauded as Stanford’s Engineering

Anchor.” Stanford University. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Sept. 2016.

Newsroom, NVIDIA. “Jen-Hsun Huang.” NVIDIA Newsroom Newsroom. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Sept. 2016.

“History & Discoveries.” UC Berkeley Official Website. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Sept. 2016.

“Stephen D. Bechtel Sr. – Family Leadership – Bechtel.” Bechtel Company. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Sept. 2016.




We, too, learn at UCSB

IMG_3734 (1)

Author’s Credit

As you walk through North Hall at UC Santa Barbara, you get the sense of empowerment from the murals placed up. These murals represent social change, it’s a reminder that people of color are also humans, too. We are mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters and we have as much right to be here and share this world equally. We are not the clones of the white folks, to be used as tools and have our souls ignored.

IMG_3736 (1)

Author’s Credit

On October 14, 1968, twelve black students decided to stand up to fight off all the “institutional and academic racism in the campus”. They wanted people to notice that they, too, learn at UC Santa Barbara, they are part of the scholar community and should not be excluded. Their plan to target the North Hall building was clever because in that same building there was computer equipment, which was UC Santa Barbara’s technological scaffold. The university had important data and records stored in that computer and the university depended on that information. Chancellor Cheadle decided to hear out the student activists because he knew it was not worth risking the damage of the computer equipment or the risk of someone getting hurt. That day was seen as a step toward embodiment of the colored and reaching equality in the campus of UC Santa Barbara. The black student activists were the rain that the garden of diversity, in the UC Santa Barbara campus, needed to grow righteous flowers and these murals are a remembrance of that.

IMG_3739 (1)

Author’s Credit

The murals reflect what the racial minority is capable of achieving when we stand together and speak up. However, some people do not understand that depriving someone of their freedom and equality is not acceptable, it is not a value or a mindset that an individual should carry. Recently in the month of March 2016, anonymous individuals used chalk to write comments in support of Donald Trump and emphasized his idea to deport minorities. Whoever wrote these comments had the intention to hurt people’s feelings and knew it was more affective by North and South Hall, where the interracial departments are located. Although the principles of these people never seem to end, neither will the voice of minorities ever be silenced again, because we can now see the rise in numbers of people who stand together and who are willing to fight off racism through the power of love and pride of who they are.

IMG_3738 (3).JPG

Author’s Credit


1969 Santa Barbara Oil Spill

January 28, 1969: The third largest oil spill in the country, the largest oil spill at the time, hit the Santa Barbara coast. According to the LA Times, over 3 million gallons of crude oil was released into the Pacific Ocean, spanning a range of thirty-five miles.  Areas of tar appeared as far west as the Channel Islands, mostly the Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa islands.

Biologists at the University of California, Santa Barbara studied the marine life that was effected by the spill and the numbers were outstanding: around 9,000 birds, 14 tons of surfgrass, 9 million barnacles, and an assortment of mussels, limpets, and periwinkles were found dead.

Along with environmental issues, the oil spill took a major toll on the economy of the coastal cities. According to Sarah Sikich, vice president of Heal the Bay, commercial fishing was suspended temporarily, tourism decreased, and properties along the coastlines suffered considerable damage.


Effects seen at the Santa Barbara Harbor one month after oil spill. February 1969.




Digital representation oil spill


Outraged Santa Barbara community members began protesting offshore drilling. The severity of this disaster, as well as the overwhelming media coverage began the fire of a growing environmental movement.After months of riots and debates, the government stepped up and took action.

Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson visited Santa Barbara and other cities in California. After seeing the devastations he read about the idea of ‘teach-ins’ to incorporate environmental studies into college campuses and communicate government concerns . He stated “If we could tap into the environmental concerns of the general public and infuse the student anti-war energy into the environmental cause, we could generate a demonstration that would force the issue onto the national political agenda”. In April of 1970, our nation had the first Earth Day celebration. The Santa Barbara oil spill served as a the spark of environmental movements everywhere. Earth Day was created in remembrance of the this oil spill as well as other environmental disasters. The celebration of this day raised an extraordinary amount of environmental awareness leading to several other official government policies.

The lasting impression that the spill had led the president at the time, Richard Nixon, to sign the National Environmental Policy Act in 1969, allowing for the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970. In the following years, the Clean Water Act passed in 1972 and the Endangered Species Act in 1973. These were written and signed in hopes of keeping our environment cleaner for the human, animal, and plant populations.

Since Earth Day and the acts that followed, a variety of smaller practices set into motion. To name a few, people began recycling, using more efficient forms of energy such as CFL and LED light bulbs, and the first electric cars were built.

The oil spill that occurred in Santa Barbara was a devastating event, but it led to something so great. The everlasting effects that the creation of Earth Day has had on our environment are necessary to keeping our earth clean and fresh.


After the tides receded from the shore lines, the oil-stained rocks displayed the amount of oil left along the beaches. Marvin Moore photograph.



Two oil-coated grebes showing the amount of oil that covered and harmed the animals. Photo taken by the Associated Press.



Santa Barbara community members standing together to protest offshore drilling. Bob Duncan photo.



Political cartoon expressing the effects the oil had on the attraction of Santa Barbara.



New York Times headliner of the first celebration of Earth Day on April 22, 1970

Building 406: El Centro de la Memoria



There are always buildings that you tend  to walk by and have no idea how significant they are. That is a perfect way to describe Building 406 at University of California Santa Barbara otherwise known as El Centro.

El Centro is known  for its deep and rich history involving activism, protests. and inclusiveness. El Centro is the main building where many latinx and other student organizations hold their meetings, and a place where people primarily latinx folk can come and feel at home. It has a rich history of lots of activism and students fighting for their rights. At one point it was even bugged by the government in order to learn their plans and secrets. So trying to keep this building intact was a top priority and not having it taken away in order to expand the library like the campus was planning to do.

IMG_1912No one knows knows about this building every time I talk about it. It really is a building that is always over looked all the time. Everyone I feel should learn about these building because of the history that it has and the meaning it has to many students. For many of these students its a place for comfort, it makes them feel at home. A lot of students use this building to connect and interact with other Latinos who have similar backgrounds and shared experiences which make navigating the college life way more easier.











I like to call El Centro as El Centro de la Memoria which in English translates into the center of memory. This building holds the collective memory of how students have had to fight for their rights to a better and fail education. It hold the memory of many polarizing events that changed the campus such as the Hunger strikes that occurred in 89 and 94. these strikes changed the entire campus with a lot more inclusion and a safer environment for latinx people and people of color in general. One of the most known changes that is still present to this day was the addition of the ethnicity requirement.


This building means so much to so many people but past and present students , yet it is easily over looked. El Centro must be maintained here at UCSB and it should be one that is known for its long and rich history and all the students that have passed through there and have become great leaders and have made a change. There stories should be told too, just like this building story should as well.

                                                                     Works Cited

“Guide to the UCSB Ethnic Studies Protests Collection CEMA 93.” Guide to the UCSB Ethnic Studies Protests Collection CEMA 93. El Congreso, n.d. Web. 29 Aug. 2016.

“Living History Project: UCSB Hunger Strikes.” Living History Project: A Collective History of Student Engagement at UC Santa Barbara. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Aug. 2016.

05, May. “Latino Hunger Strike Continues at UCSB.” Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 1994. Web. 24 Aug. 2016.

“UCSB Ethnic Studies Protests Collection.” Online Archive of California. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Aug. 2016.

“UCSB Open to Latino Students’ Demands.” The Daily Nexus UCSB Open to Latino Students Demands Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Sept. 2016.

Birth of a New Curriculum


The picture mural located at UCSB’s North Hall was installed to praise those courageous students who took over the building in order to send a message back in 1968.  They demanded for equality and for the end to the academic racism that was going on within the university.  The protesters drew a crowd of nearly one thousand people, including students, faculty, and others.  Although not all eight of their demands were granted, their protest was a catalyst for all of the ethnic studies departments that is now a part of our curriculum.

This mural commemorates the power that students can have here on campus and that we can make a change.  These students were driven to have there demands met.  They were not afraid to ruin the whole school’s mainframe computer to get what they wanted.  Their Malcolm X, “by any means necessary” attitude is what granted us the Black Studies Department which was added the next year.

north hall take over

The mural has just recently been installed after another Black Student Union led effort.  Their request to rename North Hall as Malcolm X Hall was turned down but Chancellor Yang agreed to put money aside for the creation of such a powerful mural.  Will North Hall ever become Malcolm X Hall?  Now that would make an even bolder statement than the mural itself I would think.

The pictures contained in this mural are gateways to the past.  They externalize memories by showing the history of that very spot that they are located.  The mural takes us back to that time of distress and shows us how far we have come as a community.  This is when a new part of our school’s curriculum was born.

Work Cited

Simons, Eric. “UCSB Black Studies Dept. Built from 1968 Black Student Union Protest.”

The Daily Nexus. Daily Nexus, 12 Feb. 2001. Web. 24 Aug. 2016.

Wing, Jeff. “The Taking of North Hall.” Santa Barbara Sentinel. State Street Scribe, 16 Oct. 2015. Web. 29 Aug. 2016. <;.

“1968: A Global Year of Student Driven Change.” 1968: A Global Year of Student Driven Change. El Gaucho, 20-22 Nov. 2008. Web. 01 Sept. 2016. <;.