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Vice President Biden's Message to UCSB
updated: Jun 11, 2014, 2:00 PM

By Kyley Scarlet

On June 3, 2014 at 5:30 PM, Kyley Scarlet, a Senior Theater Major, former 2013-2014 Internal Vice President for the undergraduate student body, and former President of a Sorority at UC-Santa Barbara, initiated a moveon.org petition. She requested that the First Lady, Michelle Obama, visit the University of California Santa Barbara campus before the end of the school year in the wake of the events of May 23rd. To date, 1,205 people have signed on to this petition. The petition stated: "your presence would inspire and support our students (and the world) to believe that we are not defined by acts of violence" such as those experienced by UCSB students.

Current UCSB students, Isla Vista residents, parents, friends and UCSB alumni signed the petition. Individual messages expressed the hope that the First Lady or someone from the White House, would reach out to the UCSB students in the wake of the horrific events of May 23rd. After seeing the support for the petition, Kyley continued to promote the petition and personally wrote a letter to First Lady Michelle Obama. With the help and support of Congresswoman Lois Capps and her daughter, Laura, who ensured the letter would be seen by the White House, Kyley received a message from the White House indicating that Vice President Joe Biden would respond to the letter by taping a personal videotaped message.

Kyley Scarlet, who has made Isla Vista her home for the last four years, initiated the request in light of the murders of George Chen, Katherine Cooper, James Hong, Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, David Wang and Veronika Weiss. She feels that it[the community of Isla Vista] has been traumatized. We are in disbelief and shock. Although we may be "IV strong", we are still healing. The love and support of everyone is unbelievable. Within hours of the horrific rampage we came together, and created a support system for one another. We became a stronger community. And for my part, I have started a crowd-funding campaign designed to give individuals the power to make an impact on the threat of local gun violence through a gun buyback program". She believes that the sorrow felt by the parents, siblings and personal friends of the six UCSB students killed and those who are still recovering from their wounds is immeasurable. In some small way, knowing that the horrific events of 5/23 will spur change may help the mourning process.

Below is the video.

VP UCSB Medium from UC Santa Barbara on Vimeo.


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