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Pizza joint faces boycott for refusing to serve alcohol to Mexican students with non-traditional IDs

Dissenting student senator claims senate lacks the necessary evidence to demand boycott

The Associated Student Senate at University of California Santa Barbara recently passed a resolution condemning the actions of local establishment Giovanni’s Pizza and recommending a boycott due to allegedly racist behavior on the part of the restaurant’s management for declining to serve alcohol to two Mexican students with nontraditional IDs.

The lone dissenting student senator, however, argues that the senate “did not have enough evidence” to justify the call for a boycott.

Several weeks ago the staff at Giovanni’s refused to serve alcohol to two Mexican students, one with a Mexican government-issued identification card and one with a U.S.-issued employment authorization document, according to the campus newspaper The Bottom Line.

The manager of Giovanni’s, Rosemary Moll, denied there was any racial motivation in her decision not to serve the students, telling The Bottom Line she was simply unfamiliar with the IDs and was trying to protect the establishment’s liquor license.

But according to The Bottom Line, a student with a German driver’s license was able to successfully purchase alcohol from the establishment, prompting outrage.

“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,” student Ana Sophia Eiseman told The Bottom Line.

In addition to the student senate, the university’s Campus Democrats has also vowed to boycott the establishment, saying “Gio’s Pizza enforced racist and deeply problematic ID policies towards two UCSB students.”

As for the student senate, in its final meeting of the year it passed the resolution condemning the restaurant and asking the UCSB community “to not purchase or give funds to purchase” anything from Giovanni’s.

Senator Derek Yang was the only senator who did not support the boycott, abstaining from the vote.

Reached by e-mail, Yang told The College Fix: “The main reason that I abstained from that vote was that I did not believe that Gio’s should have been financially punished for something that was unintended. While I do agree that discriminatory practices are disgusting and should not be tolerated, there could have been so many other factors that played into the decision.”

“Because I did not have enough evidence to decide it was blatant discrimination,” he continued, “I did [not] want to punish an establishment that students love so much. I would have been all for just condemning Gio’s but I could not support a boycott.”

The student senate stipulates that the demand for a boycott will remain “until conditions are met.” One of those conditions includes “an official apology.”

The College Fix reached out to Giovanni’s Pizza for comment. Reached by phone, a restaurant employee declined to comment, saying the establishment is “under new management… so [they] have nothing to say on the matter”.

The College Fix reached out to numerous other student senators, none of whom returned requests for comment. The resolution was passed during the last meeting of the year prior to students leaving campus for the summer.

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About the Author
Corrie Faith Lee -- Regent University