Lefton mingles with students at Coffee with the President

Kali Price

President Lester Lefton helped a student with his statistics homework, watched another student play “Family Feud” on his laptop and posed with students and Flash for pictures yesterday afternoon.

Lefton met with students for the first Coffee with the President sponsored by Undergraduate Student Senate at the Hub. A few students stopped to meet with Lefton and ask questions, but instead of staying at a table, Lefton decided to go around to tables to meet with students for an hour.

“That’s awesome,” said senior chemistry major Vince Kowalski after meeting Lefton. “I mean, (President George W.) Bush would never do that.”

Kowalski was eating lunch and doing homework when Lefton stopped by the table. They discussed Kowalski’s major and his future plans. Lefton even autographed Kowalski’s homework.

“The most I’ve ever seen of Carol (Cartwright, president emeritus) is just her walking around,” Kowalski said.

Senior biochemistry major Abby Sewell said she was surprised when Lefton visited her and her friends as they ate lunch.

“I was just kind of frozen,” she said. “It was nice that he did it.”

But Sewell’s friends were disappointed with Lefton’s brief visit.

“He didn’t give us the opportunity to voice an opinion,” senior biochemistry major Tom Towers said. “He can at least say, ‘how’s the experience?’ It was a whole waste of time.”

Senior biochemistry major Eric Soehnlen said he felt the visit was superficial.

But USS Executive Director Ross Miltner said he thought the event went well.

“Last year, we did one of these each semester,” he said. “President Lefton wanted to do it differently. And Flash stopping by was a nice surprise.”

Christen Coppola, senator for student relations, handled the preparations for the event and said she was pleased with it.

“I was a little nervous about the venue,” she said. “I was really impressed with all the students. (Lefton) took charge, and it was awesome.”

Contact student politics reporter Kali Price at [email protected].