President Greg Jones battled the heat by eating hot salsa and answering burning questions in the basement of Caldwell Hall on Oct. 19.
Based on the popular YouTube series “Hot Ones” – a show where host Sean Evans interviews celebrities while eating progressively spicy chicken wings – Caldwell resident assistants Dominic Corrado and Eli Karns looked to spice up their resident events schedule this fall with a spinoff of the popular series.
From there, Burning Questions with Greg Jones was born. Created with the intention of getting to know Jones on a more personal level, Corrado and Karns collected the most important questions Caldwell residents wanted to ask Jones.
Corrado – a 20-year-old junior commercial guitar major – was very hands-on throughout the process.
“I was definitely nervous, but I think that it was a good nervousness because I was prepared,” Corrado said. “It went as well as I could have expected.”
Although their hard work paid off, putting together the event proved to be a slow burn for the two RAs.
“We’ve been prepping for a couple months now, since the beginning of the school year,” Corrado said.
Corrado and Karns took turns asking Jones questions about a variety of topics. From his expansive vision for Belmont to his college memories of traversing the country for hockey games, each salsa uncovered a new layer about Jones’s life.
Quick questions got Jones to open up about his definition of leadership, and why he believes chicken wings aren’t worth the effort to eat compared to chips and cereal.
As the spices got hotter, the tone of the questions shifted toward his thoughts on the university. Compared to his past schools, he spoke about the talent and beauty that surrounds this campus and how it inspires him.
“When you’re around beauty, it makes you feel better about the world,” Jones said during the interview.
And the RAs in Caldwell haven’t ruled out a sequel to the event.
“He really wants to get on a personal level with all the students, so I think it’s definitely possible to do something like this again,” Carrado said. “I think it really just shows how cool and unique Belmont is.”