Fourth-year film & media studies major Carter Hiyama produced and distributed a video message to the students and faculty of Florida State University in response to a shooting at the campus last Thursday.
The video, “From Our Coast To Yours: An Open Letter From Isla Vista To Florida State University,” was uploaded to YouTube on Monday, offering a message of support for the shooting that occurred on FSU’s campus. The shooting occurred in the university’s Strozier Library and resulted in injuries to three FSU students and the death of the gunman, 31-year-old FSU alumnus Myron May, a New Mexico attorney. Hiyama’s video features numerous university students giving statements of support and sympathy to all of the students affected by the shooting.
Hiyama said he was inspired to film the video after remembering how he personally felt after the shooting that occurred in Isla Vista last Spring.
“Right when I heard about it, I got this weird sinking feeling in my stomach, the same feeling I got when the shooting was happening here,” Hiyama said. “I couldn’t imagine what it would be like going through that for the first time.”
Hiyama said he hopes that the film will provide support and comfort to the individuals affected by the shooting.
“I produced the video because I felt like it would be a nice thing to do,” Hiyama said. “I hope the people affected like the video and it helps them get through this time.”
Hiyama also said he felt a need to give back after all of the support I.V. and the university received following the events of May 23.
“When the shooting happened here, communities and schools from all over the place reached out to us and supported us and I think that helped everyone a lot,” Hiyama said. “I felt like it was my turn to do the same.”
Shannon McMahon, fourth-year communication major, was featured in the video and said she hopes it will provide the student body of FSU support following the shooting.
“When we experienced the shooting in Isla Vista, it really helped me, and I know others, to feel the support of other communities,” McMahon said. “I wanted to help give FSU support and let them know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I hope that the video helps them to not feel so alone and know that they have support and they can find comfort knowing that we went through something similar and came out stronger.”
According to Mary B. Coburn, Vice President for Student Affairs at Florida State University, the support received from the university was appreciated by many at FSU.
“As you can imagine we have received hundreds of expressions of support and concern. None were more beautiful than this video from UCSB,” Coburn said. “I was so touched by their message and immediately thanked Dr. Michael Young, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dr. Jeanne Stanford, the director of counseling. We send our appreciation from Florida State University.”
“It’s hard to find the words to say,” Hiyama said. “I’m proud of the people I interviewed for being able to put something together.”