Islander Students Hear Powerful Messages at Islanders Night Out

Islanders Night Out

The night was designed to help students safely navigate through their new experiences with discussion topics of consent, safety, empowerment, and resilience.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – As first-year students familiarize themselves with their semester courses, new surroundings, and each other, knowing the importance of safety, consent, and learning how to face adversity is a priority for Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. In partnership with the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health, the university hosted Islanders Night Out on Sept. 8. The night was designed to help students safely navigate through their new experiences with discussion topics of consent, safety, empowerment, and resilience.

“We are very fortunate in this community to have Mrs. Gloria Hicks, who is a member of the board for the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health. From the elementary school that bears her name to the support she has given our university, she is a a huge supporter of education at every level,” said Dr. Kelly M. Miller, University President and CEO. “She’s been instrumental in helping to bring incredible speakers to our campus throughout the years that support our student’s learning, their safety, and their health.”

Islander students gathered to hear two inspiring guest speakers – Brittany Piper and Clint Gresham. Piper is an international activist speaker and healing and wellness coach who has brought awareness around the globe to sexual violence and women’s rights. Piper’s powerful story led to student discussions regarding consent, rape culture, prevention, healing, and bystander intervention.

“Today, I just want to come in, and I want to share with them just basic education about sex, consent, boundaries, relationships, what that looks like,” said Piper. “I also want to discuss how to prevent sexual assault, how to respond when we see something that’s happening, and how to step in and intervene.”

Clint Gresham is a Corpus Christi native, Ray High School alumnus, and former National Football League player. He played multiple seasons with the Seattle Seahawks and the New Orleans Saints and won a Superbowl. Gresham closed out the night speaking with vulnerability and humor about facing the storms in our lives and the four pillars of wholeness. Students gained a new outlook on facing adversity by developing the courage to confront the difficult moments in their lives. Gresham also shared moving personal anecdotes from professional football that coincided with his life and helped him learn what it takes to become whole.

“After everything that we have gone through these last 18 months, a message that is close to my heart is the idea of taking the challenges that we’ve been through in our lives and trying to understand what is it that we can learn from this? We need to ask how we can turn this into something positive,” said Gresham.

TAMU-CC junior biochemistry major Sara Montoya said that Islanders Night Out helped students get back to some sense of normalcy, allowing them to gather together and participate in campus activities once again.

“Seeing everyone back on campus, enjoying themselves talking to friends, and being safe as much as possible is just really enlightening,” said Montoya, who is also part of the Honors Program. “It’s really making my last few semesters here impactful. I feel like everything I’m doing here is for a purpose, and it makes me happy.”

The event also allowed Islander students to engage with multiple campus services to receive valuable information and resources reinforcing the night’s messages. The attendees were treated to food and refreshments as they mingled and took time to learn about all the Island campus offers.