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‘Ask a Young Person’: Ethics center at CCU hosts open dialogues

October 22, 2019
The Jackson Family Center for Ethics and Values offers programming to prompt consideration of ethical principles in the context of current social issues.The Jackson Family Center for Ethics and Values offers programming to prompt consideration of ethical principles in the context of current social issues.

The ability and opportunity to engage in open dialogue about serious, sometimes uncomfortable topics is an important matter, one that is often overlooked or avoided. Coastal Carolina University’s Jackson Family Center for Ethics and Values is designed to ensure that this kind of informed dialogue about issues happens regularly in a comfortable, accessible manner.

Each semester, the Jackson Center offers speakers, roundtable events, community programming, and academic classes that focus on ethical issues relevant to CCU students, faculty, and community members.

Tea & Ethics panels, which are discussion-based events comprised of CCU faculty, staff, and students with topics generated and selected by students, are particularly popular. This semester’s topics are “Ask a Young Person” on Thursday, Nov. 7, at 4:30 p.m., and “Invisible Disabilities” Tuesday, Dec. 3, at 4:30 p.m. Both panels are free and open to the public.

Because the subject matter is organic, the discussions are immediately relevant, and panel participants are on-campus individuals who have direct involvement with the issue. Past topics have included food insecurity, transitioning from the military to college, first-generation college students, race on campus, and domestic violence.

The “Ask a Young Person” event, a collaboration with CCU’s Osher Lifelong Living and Learning (OLLI) program, is designed to bring college students and area seniors into the same room for candid, inquisitive conversation.

“I predict they will talk about generation gap kind of issues,” said David Holiday, director of the Jackson Center. “I don’t know what questions are going to come up with; we’ve left it open for the community to send in whatever they want. They might want to know what ‘ghosting’ is, or understand why young people spend so much time staring at their phones, or what young people think about the climate crisis. My expectation is that there will be some social/political discussion, there might be some questions about race, and there will probably be some talk about sex and gender. This is one way we’re trying to reach out a little bit more beyond the campus community with a topic and a format that we hope will interest and engage seniors.”

The semester’s other Tea & Ethics panel, on a date that coincides with International Day for People with Disabilities, focuses on invisible conditions of impairment. Holiday said these types of disabilities pose unique challenges among students, faculty and staff. Featured individuals, all CCU students, have hearing, vision, and cognitive disabilities that others wouldn’t immediately detect, so their need for accommodations is sometimes met with resistance.

“Each student will talk about their experiences navigating Coastal,” said Holiday. “The idea is to have a conversation to raise awareness about the challenges people with invisible disabilities face, but also point out some things about campus culture and what, as a matter of University policy, we can do to make things better.”

Upcoming Jackson Center events, all free and open to the public:

•Tea & Ethics Panel Discussion: “Ask a Young Person,” Thursday, Nov. 7, at 4:30 p.m. in Burroughs & Chapin Center for Marine and Wetlands Studies, Room 100.

•Tea & Ethics Panel Discussion: “Invisible Disabilities,” Tuesday, Dec. 3, at 4:30 p.m. in the Lib Jackson Student Union, Room A-201.

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