Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- According to a recent nationwide survey 70 percent of Americans believe incivility has reached crisis levels in this country. But could that be true in a region where hospitality is a priority?
"We think civility is a foundation for a community to be healthy," Columbia Urban League President J.T. McLawhorn said.
McLawhorn has been on a civility crusade for the past year. But he says recent events show that the organization still has work to do.
"When we have an upshot in violence in our community and in negative behavior I think that is grounded in the lack of civility," McLawhorn said.
And the only way to curb uncivil acts is to start young.
"We cannot expect young people to understand civility and to behave in a respectful and moral manner unless we teach them," McLawhorn said.
Erin Kitchell works for USC at the office of student conduct, where she tries to get the word out about the "Carolinian Creed." It's a pledge many students take saying they'll be upstanding students.
"To me, the most important line is, 'Respecting the dignity of all persons,'" Kitchell said. "I think respect is huge, it really is all encompassing of what we're really trying to teach students here at the university."
And out-of-state freshman Gracie Lunden says she can see the Southern hospitality.
"People hold the door open down here, walking past me they'll say, 'Hi,'" Lunden said. "Which is something we didn't see much in Maryland."
Kitchell says the Carolinian Creed gives students the keys to civil success.
"We really work to help students come up with the key components of that and so those are integrity, respect, compassion and leadership," Kitchell said.
The survey also says that the average American sees online incivility more than eight times a week, and 95 percent of participants say we have a civility problem in the U.S.