CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – It was a summer of celebrating some national accomplishments for Coastal Carolina University, but a message for students beginning the fall semester is recognizing and responding to violence across the nation.
CCU leaders want to make sure they get across the message that every student that walks the campus will not only be respected but also heard, especially during times where they may feel no one understands.
In a video posted on the school's website and shared on social media, CCU President David DeCenzo starts off with the success the school had the previous school year, such as the baseball team winning the College World Series.
Then, his message took a serious turn.
"While we celebrated, we also grieved for the loss of lives due to violent acts in our communities across America," DeCenzo said in the video.
In response to those tragedies, university leaders wanted to start the year off with discussion through different events and programs.
They want to make sure issues from around the world do not come to campus and, if they do, they want to come up with ways to tackle them.
The programs will also include challenging talks about ways to better understand each other as well as the different communities and identities that surround campus.
CCU's student body president said the overall goal is to have students feel like their voice matters.
"We're going to make great changes and we're really going to be able to work with one another and do all type of things that we want to do," said Austin Nichols, CCU student body president. "Every student is different, every student has a different opinion, but we're all going to figure out ways on how to work together."
Wednesday morning, the entire campus will attend a Love Over All event to kick off this year's theme.
At the end of the semester, leaders will send out a climate survey to learn if programs and discussions helped and what they can do to improve moving forward.
To see the entire Welcome to Fall 2016 video, click here.