President Clark G. Gilbert and his executive staff emphasized dating to students Thursday evening during a Q&A session in the John Taylor Chapel.

There were several topics brought up in Thursday’s Q&A including how to develop spiritual gifts, how to balance our busy schedules, and programs on campus, and there was a special focus by President Gilbert on dating.

During the session, Robert Avila, a freshman studying business management, asked the president what he would like to see more from the students. President Gilbert responded with a smile and said, “Well, I would like to see you dating more.”

President Gilbert continued by saying that the administration has received a number of comments from parents and ecclesiastical leaders concerned about guys hanging out and playing video games together on a Friday night instead of asking girls out on dates.

“It is really important you get to know other people,” President Gilbert said.

He said dating is an essential part of the environment of BYU-Idaho.

“It’s a great way to make friends and eventually a great way to meet someone who you will marry,” President Gilbert said.

Chelsea Doench, a junior studying elementary education, said she appreciates President Gilbert’s emphasis on dating.

“I know of too many girls who go semesters without going on dates,” Doench said. “He really wants us to be happy, and I feel like it is pushing some of us in the direction of finding our eternal companion.”

A recording of the Q&A is available on the school’s Web page.