'Stay in Touch': Burns Hargis chats with students over Facebook Live

Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis took to ZOOM on Thursday for a light-hearted Q&A with OSU students.

The nine students represented an array of organizations, disciplines and ages on OSU’s campus, ranging from undergraduate freshmen to final year graduates to nontraditional students. Each student had the opportunity to ask President Hargis a question, and the public was invited to submit questions.

I had the honor of moderating the “hangout”, which aired live on OSU’s Facebook at 4 p.m. The first question of the 30-minute conversation came from an overseas student in Bermuda who asked about President Hargis’ dream destination.

“Right now, it’s to be back on campus with all the students,” Hargis laughed. “We have a lot of favorite spots, but one of them is Taos, New Mexico.”

President Hargis and the First Cowgirl Ann Hargis are part of the board for the Fechin House in Taos as well as the Doel Reed Center, an educational center for OSU students. He went on to discuss other favorite spots such as the Clifton House in north London.

Hargis also talked about his favorite memories as the President of OSU and the must have artists on his summer 2020 playlist.

Chemical engineering senior Anderson Lin asked Hargis about what his typical day now looks like as the President of a university that has entirely moved to the online classroom.

“It’s pretty much conference calls and zoom calls,” Hargis replied. “That’s been the vast majority of every day.”

Hargis’ statement mirrored much of what the other eight students experienced: a nearly entirely digital world. This opened a door for students to voice their opinions about online learning. Applied sociology senior Caileb Booze commented on his experience.

“My professors have done a great job of acclimating very quickly,” Booze said. “It’s allowed us to take a breather and realize we’re going to get through his.” 

The chat progressed to conversations about his hobbies and the process of moving out of OSU’s President’s House, The Willham House, as it is renovated.

On a final note, journalism freshman Trent Gibbs asked about advice President Hargis may have for students during this “crazy time”. Hargis expressed his apologies for having to cancel 2020 graduation, and left on a final note.

“Stay in touch,” Hargis said. “Keep a routine; There’s only a few more weeks.”