Monday, September 29, 2008

Don't Go There: PCSU Attic

This is the seventh part in the "Don't Go There" series. The series strives to unveil the most secret and secluded parts of campus to give ordinary students a glance at the unknown.
At the crest of the stairway in the Paul Conn Student Union, where the final steps meet a locked door... That is where the attic starts.

A room of magnificence, a centerpiece of expensive air conditioning units, a shrine to heating and cooling.

Everywhere you look there's a duct, the lungs of a building not yet a decade old.

Further walking reveals a locked door that leads to the mysterious bell tower.

Bypassing that door and continuing forward will bring an opening to another room in the attic cave.

This one has no ducts, no units. It is Wal-Mart without shelves. It is a swimming pool of storage.

Coolers, whiffle bats, shoeboxes, plastic cups... If the Student Leadership Council needs it, it can be found in this room.

Hidden in the building's framing are the leaves of an enormous Christmas tree, waiting once again to be set up in the lobby below.

This room, truly, is the treasure chest of campus. Read More......


The paint is peeling back outside the Deacon Jones Dining Hall and the Conn Center.

If not stopped in time, the ceiling outbreak could spread to other buildings around campus.

Oh physical plant, it's time to take action!
Read More......


Of all the useless talents in the world, the ability to hold a Tic Tac mint in your right cheek dimple ranks pretty high.

After all, the urge for a Tic Tac could strike anywhere, and it's best to be prepared by having one tucked away in a safe place, a place easily accessible and convenient.

That's exactly why this year's Vindagua yearbook athletic editor, Alexandra Powell, prides herself on being a Tic Tac hero.

We salute you, Alexandra. Read More......

Out of space

Nine bikes. Nike bikes with no place to go.

They cling to lamp posts, railing, columns...
Everywhere campus safety doesn't want them to be.

This is just one lunch period, on one day of the week. Those nine homeless bikes are in addition to the full house of eight already taking every spot in the bike rack across from the dining hall doors.

The point is simple: Deacon Jones needs more space for bikes to be parked properly and easily. Read More......

Defeating the purpose?

The Lee University bookstore is now enticing shoppers with a brand new flat screen television prominently positioned at the foot of the store, just in front of the doors.

The display, which is visible from the lobby, runs advertisements on a continuous stream to promote shopping at the store, a store employee said.

This is the second flat screen television mounted in the store. The first was installed to display the news and hangs from the ceiling by the arched window.

The new display provides just what we need... Commercials in a bookstore.

Until this point, bookstores were the last untouched place on earth.

But then again, why read books when we can just watch the movie... on a flat screen? Read More......

Preserving Lee's Past

The yearbook and the newspaper are finally getting together.

Well, closer together at least.

The Lee Clarion is undergoing a massive digital archiving project this semester, converting 134 paper copies of the newspaper into digital PDFs for viewing at

In order to create digital files of the stored archives, our photography staff is taking hi-def pictures of every page of every issue. That requires flattening out pages that have been creased, bent and folded into different shapes through the last few decades.

The student media storage room is being used to flatten out these historic issues before images can be made of them.

The end result of the project will allow easy access to our every copy of the Lee Clarion for viewing by students, faculty, parents and alumni. These pages will open up the history of Lee University in new ways, dating all the way back to the early 1950s.

As our collection grows online at, feel free to contact us if you locate a missing issue of the Lee Collegian, Lee Clarion, Campus Hi-Lites or Omnibus, four of the titles for one student newspaper. Read More......

Two down. One to go.

Construction of the second floor of the new science and math building has officially begun.

Over the weekend construction crews began laying cement blocks to create the external frame on the second level. A wooden ladder climbs up from the basement, showing that progress is indeed being made. Read More......

Sweets & Stamps

Today is free candy day at the post office! Go mail a letter and pick up a sweet, compliments of the post office staff.

The post office is giving away sugary treats today "to be a blessing." Read More......

Sitting pretty

Is this bench really necessary?

You're right. It is. After a long walk back to the dorm following lunch in the dining hall, what better way is there to relax than sitting on a bench in the middle of a field behind O'Bannon-Bowdle, looking off into the distance?

It's always pleasing to know where my tuition money is spent. Read More......

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Empty Shelves, Empty Stomach

"We don't have anymore _______."

If only I had an extra flex dollar for every time I've heard that from Jazzman's Cafe.

It seems like every weekend the cafe runs out of cookies, scones, brownies, pudding, salads, sandwiches... Essentially anything edible.

By the time Sunday rolls around the only things left on the shelves for purchase are salad dressing and those portable cereal cups. They make a great combination, I assure you.

If Jazzman's were operating independently of the university, I'm convinced food inventory would be budgeted to ensure that there would always be something edible for purchase on the shelves.

The majority of Jazzman's food products, however, come from employees in the Deacon Jones Dining Hall who only prepare pastries during the five-day work week.

That means that when their shift is up and the dainty quantity is shipped via golf cart to the cafe, what's on the shelves is all that's left.

That could be more than disappointing to students working all day on last-minute projects or studying who don't have the time to expend in the dining hall on a date with their meal plan.

For those students, the lonely muffin left on the bottom shelf of Jazzman's is their only nourishment for the day.

Empty shelves are bad for business, unless all of your customers happen to enjoy celery sticks. Then you're in luck.
Read More......

Lee takes a step up

We who are afraid of heights salute those who climb to the peaks of Lee to ensure that the university continues to function from the top down.

This is our tribute to the high and mighty:
A man stands on a ladder to set traps for squirrel catching in the Deacon Jones Dining Hall.
A similar man (clone?) stands atop electronic scaffolding in the unfinished Walker Arena lobby to add finishing touches to drywall before the dome covers it whole.
Changing light bulbs in the student union requires this really, really cool giraffe machine.
Cleaning the windows of the giant tic-tac-toe board on the front of the Humanities Center takes an incredible amount of balance. Surely this man believes he is prepared for eternal life. Who else would climb that?
Scaling the dome of the Walker Arena is no small feat, although it does require small feet. Big boots just don't find their place as well on this half-sphere. But don't worry, they look right at home up there.
Someone has to wash the windows on the third floor of the Centenary building. I don't think you'd do it.
A man stands on a raised platform as the top of Cross Hall is repainted.
A man stands in charge at the top as Atkins-Ellis Hall is pressure-washed.
A lightbulb is changed on top of a ladder in the Johnson Lecture Hall in the Humanities Center.
The windows for the campus bookstore at the PCSU are washed. Read More......

Don't Go There: Conn Center Roof

This is the sixth part in the "Don't Go There" series. The series strives to unveil the most secret and secluded parts of campus to give ordinary students a glance at the unknown.
Perhaps some of the most beautiful views of Lee's campus come from the football-field sized roof of the Conn Center. Getting to the roof, however, is no easy task for those queasy when it comes to height.

The first step is to take a long hike up the stairs to the balcony of the Conn Center. Had the building been designed today, I'm sure the physical workout required to climb to the balcony would be much less strenuous.

On the left hand walkway of the balcony is a ladder that leads into a small square hole in the ceiling overlooking the massive auditorium.

The rungs eventually lead to the catwalk platform where lights are adjusted and rebulbed for the stage. It's also where six members of the Conn Crew assembled to drop the massive American flag in the pre-9/11 chapel service so recently.
A continued climb will reveal a locked watertight hatch that opens directly to the roof.
The whole roof is an empty field of darkness, save for a line of erie skylights dotting the back edge over the backstage.

Getting close enough to these skylights will reveal a long drop to the floor far below, covered only by a frail sheet of glass. It's danger like you've never seen before.
The roof can only be accessed with the guidance of Lee University's campus safety and should not be attempted otherwise.

Take a look at this video:
Read More......

Lost Cause?

When you're an editor of the Lee Clarion, strange things seem to haunt you. Today I had a Lee Clarion sighting. Again. At church.

Pay close attention, and look at the tiny "LC" engraved in the chrome.

I think AquaVantage is trying to send me a message. Maybe it's my destiny.

One day I too may inscribe hidden "LC"s on pipes in restrooms in the hopes that some future editor of the Lee Clarion, yet to be birthed into this world, will find my message and join our secret society.

On the other hand... Maybe not. Read More......

Carpenter named NAIA AD of the Year

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced today that Lee University (Tenn.) Athletics Director (AD) Larry Carpenter has been named the 2007-08 NAIA-Athletics Director Association (ADA) Athletics Director of the Year. The award recognizes Carpenter’s leadership, impeccable integrity and boundless energy for college athletics.


Photo courtesy of Sports Information

“The NAIA congratulates Larry (Carpenter) on this award and applauds his work to advance character driven intercollegiate athletics. Larry’s service to college athletics on the school, conference, region and national level is admirable and is highlighted by many awards and accolades,” said NAIA President and CEO Jim Carr. “Larry is a wonderful advocate for the NAIA and I thank him for his years of service.”

Carpenter has served the Lee University athletics department since the late 1970s. Throughout his time at Lee he has held coaching and administrative posts taking over as athletics director in 1995.

Under Carpenter’s leadership Lee University has earned the Commissioner’s Cup for three straight years and recorded seven conference championships in the highly competitive Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC). Carpenter’s long list of honors include induction into the Lee University Athletics Hall of Fame, SSAC and TranSouth Athletic Conference AD of the Year awards, NAIA Region XI AD of Year award and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics AD of the Year for the NAIA Southeast Region award.

”I am deeply grateful and humbled by this prestigious award,” said Carpenter. “There are so many deserving athletics directors in the NAIA and to be chosen by your peers makes this really special. I’m blessed to work at an institution that believes in and supports athletics. This award would not be possible without the hard work of an outstanding group of coaches and staff. I often tell people that there’s never been a day that I’ve dreaded coming to work and few people are able to say that.”

Carpenter has been an instrumental leader on the local, regional and national levels while assisting numerous committees. Carpenter served as the chair of NAIA Region XIII, member of the NAIA Direct Qualification Task Force, president of the NAIA-ADA, member of the Council of Athletic Administrators, and NAIA-Council of Affiliated Conferences and Independents and vice president of the TranSouth Athletic Conference. Carpenter currently serves on the NAIA National Administrative Council.

“It is very rare to find an employee that can quickly demand the respect of their peers, parents and administration,” said Gary Ray, Lee University Vice President for Administration. “Larry’s approach begins with a level of concern and care that easily breaks down walls to help athletics to be considered a great asset for Lee University.”

The athletics department at Lee has developed into one of the premier programs in the SSAC and NAIA. Lee teams continue to dominate conference championships and teams are consistently ranked among the nation’s top in nearly all sports.
Within the SSAC, Lee University has hosted nine conference tournaments, a regional and a super regional tournament during the past three years. Carpenter and his team have taken a tremendous amount of time to host these events ultimately creating memorable student-athlete experiences. Carpenter oversees 13 intercollegiate sports with a staff of 30 and continually educates his department on NAIA standards and promotes the NAIA’s flagship program Champions of Character.

During his tenure, Lee University has constructed new baseball and softball facilities, added a hitting cage and artificial infield to the baseball complex, added lights and a press box for the soccer facility and renovated Walker Arena. Over the past five years Carpenter and the Lee University athletics department has improved its number of national championship tournament appearances greatly.

Ten of 12 teams participated in a national championship event in 2006-07 and six teams in 2007-08. Off the field Carpenter and Lee University have set academic standards and for the past seven years student-athletes have had a higher GPA and graduation rate than the general student body. In addition, student-athletes carry an overall GPA in excess of a 3.00 with a high of 3.20 during the 2002-2003 school year.

Carpenter will be recognized for the NAIA-ADA Athletics Director of the Year award at the 2009 NAIA Awards Banquet held in Kansas City, Mo. as part of the 2009 NAIA Annual Convention scheduled April 17-21, 2009. For additional information on the award contact Ruth Stein, NAIA Manager of Championships Sports, at or 816-595-8108.

Blog courtesy of Sports Information

Read More......

As green as it gets?

I've never really cried about a plant before, but I guess now might be the time to start.

All four of the potted plants on the back patio of the student union look decrepit.

Either there's a serious case of water neglect going on, or they all happen to be dying a slow, horrible death at the same exact time.

I'm only hoping Homecoming will come sooner this year so that the grounds maintenance crew might notice the poor greenery.

After all, if the plants are there to make the school look better, why aren't we making the plants look better? Read More......

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Friends forever. Starting Oct. 5.

It's a once-in-a-lifetime moment. And here it is, caught for posterity.

At 8:40 a.m. on Oct. 5, 2006, Dr. Conn and Dr. Carolyn Dirksen officially became friends.

Speaking of faculty on Facebook, check out the recent Lee Clarion feature on the same subject. Read More......

Flashback: Phil Stacey's Lee graduation

Long before he became an American Idol phenomenon, Phil Stacey graced the cover of the Lee Clarion (then the Lee Collegian) in the August 2002 graduation edition.

The photo features Stacey boosting his degree in celebration, with the quote: "Thank God I passed German." Read More......


When you Google "Paul Conn" and the results tell you that you can find him on eBay, you know something's up. Read More......

Single ply madness?

Lee students woke up this morning to find that the entire length and height of Sharp Pedestrian Mall had been toilet-papered by pranksters.

A second-hand witness said that the perpetrator(s) took action at about 4 a.m. Supposedly, a student getting an early morning run came by at 5 a.m. and noticed one last student with a black hooded sweatshirt and a roll of toilet paper.

Shortly after dawn a student came to the pedestrian mall and, grabbing what he could reach, cleaned up the vast majority of the mess, stuffing the wasted TP into trash cans and going on with his day.

The picture above illustrates only the remnants of what was originally a much larger attack.

If you have any pictures of the original debris-laden ped mall, please contact the Lee Clarion at Read More......

This is what I want to see every morning...

Soggy welcome mats and carpets have met for their annual convention at the dumpster behind the PCSU today.

"We're so pleased that such a trashy place has been made available for us to hang," said Wokawl Overus, President of WetRugs International Federation.

This year's convention motto: "We Meet for Feet." Read More......

Friday, September 26, 2008

Don't Go There: The Bell Tower

This is the fifth part in the "Don't Go There" series. The series strives to unveil the most secret and secluded parts of campus to give ordinary students a glance at the unknown.

Every hour, on the hour, the bell tower at the Paul Conn Student Union rings across campus, telling time, waking up napping freshmen, and interrupting important conversations.

But how do you get to the iconic tower?

Well, it's accessible from the stairway at the student union. Taking a hike to the fourth floor will reveal a solitary locked door. Behind that door is the attic, and behind another locked door is a long hallway comprised of unfinished drywall.

Two rooms lie ahead.

One contains a ladder, extending into darkness above. That ladder leads to a raised platform and trap door underneath the bells.

The second room is bright, empty and just as tall. Ahead are the two tower windows.

If you can look past the fact that the windows had obviously not been washed for some time, take a look at the view of Alumni Park from the fourth floor of the bell tower, below:

Read More......

Don't Go There: Administration Building Basement

This is the fourth part in the "Don't Go There" series. The series strives to unveil the most secret and secluded parts of campus to give ordinary students a glance at the unknown.

A morgue for files and out-of-style decorations, the basement storage rooms of the Higginbotham Administration Building yield decades worth of eBay-worthy materials.

The basement is connected to the staircase closest to the business office on the first floor. Taking the stairs down one more flight will reveal two doors to these hidden storage rooms.

Granted, there's nothing terribly exciting there.

As they say, one man's trash is another university's treasure. Read More......

Don't Go There: Student Union Roof

This is the third part in the "Don't Go There" series. The series strives to unveil the most secret and secluded parts of campus to give ordinary students a glance at the unknown.

Are you the kind of person who loves sweeping views, mechanical equipment and open spaces?

If so, the roof of the PCSU, located directly above the food court, is the perfect place to hang out and take a break.

A word of caution, however: the roof, directly accessible through the attic, is not open to visitors.

That's exactly why it's on our "Don't Go There" list.

Read More......

Don't Go There: The Wash Room

This is the second part in the "Don't Go There" series. The series strives to unveil the most secret and secluded parts of campus to give ordinary students a glance at the unknown.

We scan our card, select a table and pick up a pristine plate from the rainbow stacks awaiting us beneath buffets of rich health and beauty.

When we finish our meals we discard our dishes, leaving them to the fate of the conveyor belt which swallows them whole.

And our silverware? It's tossed through a slot in the wall to a enjoy a date with oblivion.

...Or so it seems.

Our used instruments are gathered in the wash room, separated by sight – but as close as your hand is to your face.

Dishes are sprayed and washed. Crusty silverware piles in a soapy tray. People do actually work in the wash room.

After all, how else do our pristine plates return to neat little stacks for the following meal? Read More......

Don't Go There: Centenary Basement

This is the first part in the "Don't Go There" series. The series strives to unveil the most secret and secluded parts of campus to give ordinary students a glance at the unknown.

The basement of the Centenary building carries so much legend that it's almost impossible to know everything there is to about it.

The basement is accessed through an Alice-in-Wonderland-esque door located to the left side of the Office of First Year Programs (on the first floor of the Centenary Building).

Back in earlier days, when Lee University's campus was property of what is now Bob Jones University, the Centenary building served as a ladies' dormitory. More recently, before the advent of the Paul Conn Student Union, Centenary served as the student center on campus.

It is the oldest remaining building on campus. And, it was built atop the old Bob Jones swimming pool, legend says.

Naturally, it's easy to wonder what that quaint (and usually locked) door is hiding from the campus.

Essentially, the basement is more of a large crawl space than a basement. Electric wires and pipes run the length of the wooden planks that support the three stories above.

The floor of the basement is covered with dust, dirt and litter of all variety.

So essentially, it's no vacation destination. But with a little clean-up, it could serve as an extra dormitory for those enrolled without on-campus housing next semester. You never know.

Read More......

Frightful Feelings

Most college students fear the library.

It's usually because of the normal things: reading, studying, quietness...

Not I. I fear the library for an entirely different reason:

The men's restroom.

It's pink! How is any man supposed to concentrate on taking a study break when the walls of the stalls surrounding him constantly taunt him?

Ever have that nightmare where you walked into the wrong restroom by chance?

That's what it's like every time I do business at the library. I swing open the door, shudder at the color, and force my mind to accept the situation.

I thought bathroom colors were a universal language. Blue = Men. Pink = Women.

Go anywhere in the world and you'll see regular colors for the men's restroom. But pink? No. Never. Not once, except for in the library on Lee's campus.

I think I've been traumatized for life. Read More......

"Don't you dare get this floor dirty!"

Dorms have room check to make sure that rooms are clean and floors are devoid of the smallest speck of dirt.

Apparently the food court patio needs an RA.

If I were a new student at Lee's campus I would be deathly afraid of even opening that door. What kind of inky creatures reside in the crack between the door and the floor?

It's a scary predicament. And not very pleasant to look at. Read More......

Old religion department provides ample room for President

It was more than a decade ago when President Paul Conn's office in the Vest Building was refurbished with love and care.

In that time, Lee's student population has grown by the hundreds. So it's reasonable to think that the Office of the President could use some extra space.

How convenient that the School of Religion is vacating its second floor home, directly across the hall from the President.

Now that religion has its own building to call home, rumor is that President Conn has been visiting the old School of Religion office every now and then to inspect the space.

It could be very soon that the front doors of the Vest Building lead directly into a much more modern Office of the President.

Read More......