Senate Agrees to Condemn Gio’s After Controversial Incident

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Lauren Marnel Shores
Campus Beat Reporter

The Associated Students Senate passed a resolution at its final meeting on Wednesday condemning and recommending a boycott of Giovanni’s Pizza, following an incident with students who alleged that the pizzeria racially discriminated against them.

After going back and forth about the language of the resolution, the Senate agreed to pass it by a 24-0-1 vote, with one abstention by On-Campus Senator Derek Yang. Per the resolution, A.S. will now officially prescribe entities “to not purchase or give funds to purchase” from Gio’s “until conditions are met and unjust discriminatory practices are not exercised.” The conditions include an official apology from the management of the Isla Vista location.

“It is unjust to be supporting an institution that condones practice of hatred against University of California, Santa Barbara students based on their personal identities and backgrounds,” the resolution read.

The incident in question occurred two weeks ago when a group of friends crowded into Gio’s with the intention to buy beer. The students, who are Mexican, said that their identifications were rejected while a German friend received beer with a foreign ID. The students also said they were harassed by fellow patrons and were removed from the restaurant by management.

Manager Rosemary Moll denied any racial motives to The Bottom Line, and she claimed that she was simply acting to protect the restaurant’s liquor license because she was unfamiliar with the IDs.

“I looked at both of their IDs and neither of them had any real description on them,” said AnaSophia “Ash” Eiseman, a fourth year mathematics major. “If you don’t serve someone with a Mexican ID and then immediately serve someone with a German ID, when neither of them are an acceptable ID to serve alcohol in California, it’s really obvious to me why that happened.”

Senator Derek Yang spoke in defense of Gio’s, saying that it’s wrong to assume the worst intentions of someone else.

“Private businesses, they have the right to refuse service to anyone they want,” Yang said, “and there might have been so many other factors that went into this other than blatant discrimination. While I agree that discriminatory practices are disgusting and they should not exist, we can’t just cry discrimination every single time.”

Senator Grecia Martinez expressed that her responsibility as a senator wasn’t to pass legal judgement on who the guilty party was but rather to make a statement that shows support for the students she represents. Asking for physical evidence, she explained, is “really insensitive” because it places the burden of proof on the students at risk.

“It’s up to the person to decide if they felt something racist towards them,” said Felipe Recinos, proxy for Senator Gessesse. “It’s not up to you, it’s up to the person who lived through that situation.”

Much of the contention surrounding the resolution involved the language Senator Steven Ho and Senator Andrea Reyes’ authored, specifically as to whether or not the Senate would be overstepping its boundaries by encouraging a boycott of Gio’s institution.

“This isn’t as big of a deal as we’re making it seem. By using the word boycott, we’re not ripping thousands of dollars out of Giovanni’s hands,” said Senator Stoddy Carey. Senator Reyes elaborated that the boycott wouldn’t be a complete attack on the local business. Instead, to her, it’s a recommendation that students support a different pizzeria in I.V. such as Woodstock’s.

“I really don’t understand what the issue with the word ‘boycott’ is,” said Senator Dhishal Jayasinghe. “This is a case of racism, and the boycott is temporary based on an apology. And again, it recommends, it doesn’t actually bar anyone from going and eating at Gio’s.”

Defending the boycott, Hieu Le, the newly elected A.S. President, stated “We really need to have very strong language when it comes to how we address businesses and services who discriminate. Having language that has social consequences in the practices they do is very important…Let the community know that there is no room here for acts of hate.”

11 COMMENTS

  1. What a rediculous, devious, exaggerations of a snow flake, millennial. Maybe the tab needs to get the facts straight.
    For starters, Geo’s was hosting a gathering of a group of people advocating anti-defamation, civil tolerance and acceptance of differences in others. This was a unique form of out reach in the Isla Vista community, encouraged and fostered by the newest franchise owners. The new owner was a long time resident and graduate of UCSB, and was operating the restaurant in partnership with his parents. Three of the most respectful people I’ve ever met, gracious hosts and accommodating to a fault. The improvements to the facility and food service has been obvious over the past 6 months, A genuine business gem in the isla vista community. It’s inconceivable the owners, employees, or patrons at the restaurant were exhibiting racist or discriminating behavior. Hard to believe it would be tolerated.
    Let’s start over with the allegations made by mr. Oscar Uriel Zarates. He showed up on a busy Saturday night, I know I was there, continually demanded his right to be served a beer. In a community where everybody is required to show ID for any alcohol or tobacco purchases, Mr. Zarates insisted his Mexican national identification was valid, then admits to presenting an outdated ca. ID. The behavior of “Oscar” and his companions, was unacceptable , pushy and obnoxious. Restaurants in California have the right to refuse service for many reasons, including failure to provide a picture ID, or appearing intoxicated. The circus mr Zarates and his companion displayed, attracted the attention of other patrons who in fact rejected his tirade. “No one had his back” because his behavior and that of his female companion, was rediculious and grandiose. The comment that the incident “broke his spirit”, and he felt he didn’t belong in the community was a little bit over the top, encouraging sympathy, for his behavior and allegations.
    I’ve been frequenting this Giovanni’s pizza establishment since 1980, personally knew the previous three franchise owners of the place. One of the reasons I go there is the acceptance, tolerances,and accommodating of the patrons. It really is a culture of acceptance fostered by the establishment, and that of all the Geovannis franchises.
    Demeaning of a community asset promoting tolerance, and deticated to serving isla Vista, and UCSB, the actions and public statements by the campus Democats, and validation by the Tab, is Fake News, and should be embarrassing to everyone.
    It appears the allegations and follow up intimidations of the owners has had a devistating effect. As difficult as it is to operate a food establishment in the county, unsubstantiated accusations, and arbitrary boycotts, I believe was the last straw for the current owners, let’s hope the franchise is rendered into the hands of someone who has half the graciousness as the family, unjustly accused.
    They make good pizza, the food is hot and fresh, the employees are young smart and accommodating,
    Go there……support the locals……..”and tell them you got their back”
    Tom Knauss

    Sent from Tom Knauss’s iPhone

  2. Please let me elaborate on the politically correct injustice of a witch hunt mounted against the geovannis pizza in isla vista. Accusations made against a business establishment in operation longer than any of the members of the AS board have been alive. Accused, judged and sentenced by ignorants, demanding an apology, requiring to disprove negative allegations, after the fact, then attempting slander, libel, and character assisination on the statements of an overly sensitive, eroniously validated primidona. This student organization has crossed the line, invented a social injustice, then declared a devistating penalty, in an effort to insite an aggressive response, and inflict long term and permanent financial Conflicts.
    Was the board aware that on the night of question, the owners of the geovannis was sponsoring a gathering of the staff and friends of “WORD” the isla Vista arts and culture magazine sponsored by the university. In fact a giant distribution, kiosk, for the magizine, still sits in the obtrusively at the walk way entrance to the restaurant (you’d think the university AS board would have it removed prior to stamping a Scarlett letter “R” on their forhead) the owner often went out of their way to accommodated all the diverse organizations on campus.
    What the students have done, is irreversible, stinks of McCarthyisim, on the accusations of a single person, maybe if they solicited the opinions of others at the university, utilizing the services and support from geovannis for decades, or request witness written statements, or checked the CCTV at the restaurant prior to casting judgment, and demanding capitulation. What no doubt is the most disturbing result of the boards actions is the bullying impressions as a prerequisite of any business or organization providing services or facilities to the university. “At the drop of a hat, on the slimmest of aligations, you’ll capitulate to our demands, or we will render your establishment invalid, instigate a student wide boycott, where the the end result is financial instability.”
    It’s probably best if the student board reviews their legal liability and reassesses the declaration they are promoting. Grow up you children, the knife of racism you yield, has removed your nose…dispite your face, watch the boycott turn on you !

  3. Based on the description of the process provided in the article it appears the Student Senate passed the resolution solely based on the allegations asserted by Zarate and Periban. It did not apparently care to inform itself via an investigation that should have also included interviewing the establishment owners/employees and witnesses. No, that would be too much work and it’s much easier to jump on the “I am not a racist” bandwagon. What a bunch of narcissistic idiots. Uh, basic reading would have informed you that Zarate got served when he showed an expired CA drivers license ID (which should NOT have been accepted). Blows a hole in the racist theory doesn’t it.

  4. As some one who has checked IDs for 15 years. Mexican IDs are some of the worst IDs around in terms of manufacturing and security features. It makes them not only easy to fake but they degrade quickly. German IDs use more security feature are better made and harder to fake. The photos on the German IDs do not fade like the Mexican ones do. When a underage drinking infraction can cost 10,000 for a business plus loss of sales, licenses and other penalties it is not worth the risk not all IDs are created equally. Some state IDs are made very poorly and have few security features or are faked very commonly. Its not personal if your ID is poorly made bring your passport and avoid the issue. or be willing to not drink. There is no obligation to serve people

  5. Here I stand alone on my soap box of shocked disbelief, preaching “the emperor and his court have no clothes”. Am I the only one who’s noticed the giant book of knowledge, slammed down at our feet, flopping open at the place where it says “Reverse discrimination”? Let me not spare you this tirade on injustice, and slathered run on sentences.

    This governing student body, campus democrats and community district members, representing UCSB and the students have perpetrated a hideous, erroneous, defamation of character, and business assassination, against Giovanni’s pizza. In a weeks time, they’ve accused, held court, past judgement and applied penalties. They’ve accused the prominent Isla vista eatery of promoting discriminatory practice towards their patrons, primarily because of race, promoted and validating a financial boycott. It’s hard to conceive what hypnotic colloquial salve was being applied when this proclamation was announced, when on the single allegation of some ones companion who couldn’t get a beer (regardless of the fact she didn’t have an ID). Baring a false witness of discrimination to gain some moral superiority, and falling over one selfs in an effort to bask in the glow of “I caught you being racist,” is grandiose, especially on such slim evidence or investigation. By the way, the restaurant barely had an opportunity to respond, having been accused of something you really can’t defend yourself from, the allegations cast the outcome . No matter, the penalty shall consist of meeting with the accuser presenting a formal apology, and admission of guilt. Promptly. At such time these grand tribal politburos shall somehow declare you non-discriminatory, they will magically, reinstates Giovanni’s good name and remove the gestapo like boycott. Here’s the best part, these grievances against the establishment, are such a disparagement against the community, this boycotts is enforced immediately, no time to clarify the facts, too bad Gio’s didn’t capitulate instantly, the AS board needs a ten week recess so there will be no reprieve. As these senators masterbated in excitement of the power they displayed, grand in their declarations of “prescription of not utilizing the services” and voting with the heavy weight of the campus budget, they acted as though it was financially insignificant to the restaurant, more a shake down to demand guilt. ( Operating a food establishment in the on again off again community like Isla vista is hard enough, but when 50% of your business comes directly from the university and the repeat service, and the other half comes directly from the students,[ that’s the entire market ] the board effectively rendered the business null, and sabotaged the establishments business plan, let alone any added investment of value in “goodwill” over 30 years.) To add insult to this injury they openly endorsed a competitive pizza establishment, a community group devoid of morals. When one of the 25 members voiced the slightest unease at such a declaration he was deemed “problematic” and kowtowed, as insensitive, no doubt, discriminating against the accuser, just like the people at the restaurant. The oblivious attitude of those accusing is astounding, as if the owners would lay down to be branded as racists, and let that handicap shadow them personally or professionally. There are those that take a deep personal affront, of public embarrassment at such allegations, of discriminating practices.
    This was not a battle they were going to win, crawling out of a hole of band waving racism. It’s rumored the owners abandoned their investment, business, and livelihood back to the original franchise owners rather than inflict upon themselves and the franchises the stigmata demanded. No doubt when the student politicians return they will insist on their sanctimony, and the righteousness of the cause, extorting from the corporation or new owners. This process of validating a single squeaky wheel is morally unfair and devoid of due process, carried out in a lynch mob mentality. If only the accuser, or any AS rep. had walked in, talked to the owners on any given day…..or any employees for any length of time, or perhaps run across any of them at church, they’d recognize the folly of their allegations. The most extensive autopsy, wouldn’t find a discriminating bone among their body’s “Convicted, Tarred and Feathered before being driven out of town.”

    As for the accuser. Oscar Uriel Zapate, I know little or nothing of this boy, he might in fact have redeeming characteristics. From what I could determine from open submitted information, from the comfort of my couch, Oscar wares his undocumented status as a shield defining his personality. Mr Zarates marshaled his internet troglodyte army of 100, and any other lemming willing to dab the tears from his tender cherub cheeks, in a premeditated concert of defamation. His first catastrophic exhibition was to request a facebook molestation of Giovanni’s. He’s an internet cyber bully . The problem here is The facebook account was in the name of the franchise owner on upper state street, with a direct incarceration of the mesa store. Not a single hit and run single word, single star, racist champions of the internet, elaborated on any of the facts of the case, blindly following their leader. It’s hard to imagine the sweet smell Oscar experiences, when the liberal, sanctuary city, progressive ointment, supplied by the state, is gingerly applied with a feather to his anus. This boy cheated, to try and get his way, lied to gain empowerment, and exhorted the sympathy of others, until validated, then cheated the establishments of their investments, good name and livelihoods. Oscar is the one, proverbially casting the first stone, in-sighting the riot, then running to cover himself in the socialist state supplied blanket of protective minority. Someone needs to tell him he can’t cry racism, because his girlfriend doesn’t carry a picture ID, and demands alcohol service in an establishments. Most are left with the impression this is what he does as a norm, act as a racist thought detector, to establish himself as a leader, uncovering the no existing plight of those less obnoxious. One can only hope this enablement of Oscar, and his reverse discrimination, promotes his status, like a legend to precede him, or a self inflicted prejudice facial tattoo.
    Does this sound like the accuser being accused.? Or just a witness, amazed by the group mentality of do gooders, struggling among themselves to validate a nonexistent in justice, for self promotion. In the least…….it’s vicious reverse discrimination. An embarrassment to the campus democrats, UCSB, and the student body, rejecting due process, because the voracity of the claim was so enticing. The community has been shamed and embarrassed.

    Somebody get a hold of the boy Oscar, tell him to assemble his frothing at the mouth internet trolls at the gate of my facebook page. I’ll friend them all, then toss them on their own pyre of reverse discrimination. So we can applaud their self immolation. This nasty work of defamation is complete, and in this case the “OPPS” factor doesn’t exists. There are no do overs when you scream racism. Group silence and back turning in the hopes you won’t be recognized, or held responsible, or libel for your written statements, is not an option in this case.

  6. I think it’s been exuberantly obvious that owners are simply getting all of their friends to post comments like this all over (see below, & Facebook – if you notice they all say the same things and are about as long as an essay – hmmm…). Anyway….

    The very first time I ever spoke to Rosemary Moll, one of the first things that came from her mouth was the question: “Where are you from?” I ignored and continued with the conversation. Later in the same conversation, she expressed negative attitudes towards Asians, lamenting about how all of the Asian kids drive “Porsches” and take up Gio’s parking lot to eat at the Asian restaurant next door.

    This is just 1 conversation – 1 interaction – 1 example – with these people. I’m not surprised at all by this incident, and I’m sure it’s by far and large not the only one. This establishment, the ownership, management, and employees, not only condone but actively participate in the harassment of anyone and anything they have some kind of perceived problem with. Bad business begets bad business.

  7. Hey the people at campus democrats and the AS senators insisted and participated in an act of internet terrorism on the word of one of their friends, really bad posts. On the wrong page . Then the board used the Facebook star rating data to ruin the business. Even after the accusers changed their mind. Still demanding they admitt to being racist? This doesn’t make sense, You can poop on people who disagree with you to divert from the facts, but creating more tangent stories of prejudice, to prove the boycott that’s CYA Why wasn’t that disclosed at the AS meeting?

  8. Finally not a family friend, re telling a story, of a conversation, peppered with your opinion for us, using it to demean like that? You did stop short of calling her a racist, with discriminating practices, host a face book campaign, demand admission of guilt, or insight a boycott. Not so the student council, where is this gang of 24 ? If the deed is so proud why are they not here, defending the cause ” using their names “

    • I had nothing to do with incident and have no involvement in AS. I learned about this incident by WOM. And you are correct, I didn’t feel the need turn to Facebook/the internet about my encounters with this business, but I _was_ forced to go to the police, so bear that in mind. As I said, bad business begets bad business, and it was bound to come to light one way or another without my involvement.

  9. Since you were ‘forced’, I think you have the responsibility to take your signed sheriff statement of accusations and the report from the district attorneys investigation on how your civil rights were violated, directly to the university. Make it so….the end justifies the means. Establish this “practice of discrimination”. ( but please allow the liberty of due process ) Or you should consult a civil rights lawyer.
    The elected students at UCSB endorsed and participated in Facebook libel assault, that was very severe. ‘Then’ they got two written statements to justify their decree, based solely on the interpretation of one girl being refused beer without her picture ID. Ethically challenged governors, begets unethical governance!

  10. …….SPOILER ALERT!………
    AS government and campus democrats may not need an exit strategy. As it turns out and rumor has it, along with the franchise owners, the property owner and franchise developer have decided not to crawl into the gutter with the child politicians promoting slander, libel, and practicing extortion. (We can’t expect they’ve escaped litigation, but for now they can keep their facts secret.) After 37+ years of Giovanni’s support and participation with Isla Vista and UCSB, these public and personal attempts to slander, accusations of discrimination, and the UCSB internet assault against the franchises, exceeded the bounds of social acceptance. The owners have dragged their good name away from the university and student tyranny as far and fast as possible.

    So for anybody interested, gone will be the fixture and tradition of this near timeless Isla vista institution. After 5 franchise owners and thousands of employees, no more will be the red shield emblem on a Kelly green field hanging over pardol. The logo etched windows, name embossed picnic tables of 37 years worth of alumni, famous giant cooked to order New York slice,( where the three corners hung over the plate) all gone. The pizza crust was unique and authentic, the salads and dressings fresh and an unbeatable value, the coldest beers in IV with the best selections and prices. The memories and history of NBA finals, march madness and World Cup, open air beer pong, live music, university organization meeting, all relegated to obsolescence, and sacrificed at the alter of UCSB political science majors, in an effort to lithograph a minority poster child and his girlfriend.

    This was a nasty premeditated timeline and who’s who of those posting racist comments, and the sticky web of the campus democrats, AS government and a handful of those tagging along. A devious display of a few people with some act to grind, but couldn’t quite make a case. The high and mighty won’t be back till September, this might blow over, no one will remember. But they made a bad mistake, overstated the facts, and exceeded their authority. Demeaned people, worked to financially and personally destroy life’s and dreams. All because a girl couldn’t get a beer and demanded attention. A sad representation to the community.

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