Ask the President: Conn takes the stage to answer questions

President Paul Conn continued the traditional Ask the President chapel this year to answer the questions'both silly and serious'of Lee students.

President Conn condensed the submitted 300 questions to 150 and attempted to answer as many as possible.

Sophomore Emily Green thoroughly enjoyed the event.

'While there were plenty of amusing questions, it was also good to hear the answers to more serious matters concerning campus life,' Green said.

The crowd was initially treated to the latest on Lee's Jordan Smith and his status on NBC's "The Voice."

Conn fielded a recurring question about having a 24-hour space on campus.

This was followed by questions regarding U-Church, as well as questions about scholarships.

He posited, that on finals week the library would be open until 3 a.m. as well as the rec center being open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

This will be done again during next semester's midterm experimentally.

Conn opened up a few matters to a live texting vote, including the question of adding two weeks to summer in exchange for being off after Thanksgiving, as well as determining the mandate that his office assistants be clean shaven.

The 'yes's' had it in both cases.

Student complaints were also acknowledged, and for the most part assuaged, such as a new Sodexo ruling that allows for five meals to be used in one day and dismisses the two-hour wait time between using meals.

Although senior Jessie Rogers won't get to enjoy the benefits of this change for very long, she said that this was her favorite part.

'I was just talking to someone about [the meals issue] the other day,' Rogers said.

Freshman Hannah Reeves agreed.

"I'll definitely use all my meals now,' Reeves said.

There were also a number of requests from the audience, including a new vacuum,'which was rewarded along with Conn's suggestion of hair nets'a ping pong table for Storms Hall, and a student I.D. for a service dog named Emmett.

'One night we found that our vacuum was broken,' junior Rachel Proctor said, 'but we asked the benevolent Dr. Conn for help, and sure enough, he pulled through.'

Conn's celebrity status among students was again highlighted by the number of personal questions coming from students, including inquiries about his wife, as well as favorite movies and music (which was responded with "The Three Amigos" and Elvis Presley).

Some news for the future of Lee academics centered on ongoing negotiations with a prominent nearby university that would allow students to graduate with a dual degree in engineering.

Other highlights included students showcasing Conn's favorite dances: The Whip/Nae Nae and Hit the 'Conn' (Quan).

There were also more serious issues which were brought to the attention of the President.

The question was asked: How do you feel about having LGBT discussions on campus?

Conn expressed the difficulty he felt in addressing the topic, but added that he had every intention of 'creating a more open environment for honest discussion of these issues.'

This includes discussion forums in February and a scholar on the subject coming in as a chapel speaker in March.

He also took the opportunity to publicly speak about the Yik Yak threat.

'We are doing everything we can to try to be caring and compassionate to the young man,' Conn said. 'But there is a legal consequence that is still being worked out.'

In the end, Conn assured those whose questions were not taken during chapel that they would be responded to individually and/or posted on social media.

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