Long attends LA 102; student operates office


Freshman Mercedes Schlapper doesn’t envy Baker University President Pat Long. In fact, in many ways Schlapper feels sorry for the president.

“I’m never going to be president of a university,” she said. “I don’t have that much time. Sometimes she has 26 hours on a 24-hour day.”

Schlapper got a feel for just how much work goes into Long’s job last Friday when she took over the president’s office after winning Phi Mu sorority’s President for a Day contest.

“It’s a long-standing tradition,” Long said of the day. “It’s good for me to be in a classroom from time to time. It’s also interesting for students to have a feel for what this is like.”

Schlapper didn’t even want to win. She found two dollars on the floor beside the ATM machine in the union and decided to donate it to the cause.

“Instead of buying myself two pops, I put in two dollars,” Schlapper said. “People should enter the raffle regardless. It’s for a good cause.”

All proceeds from the event went to the Children’s Miracle Network, but Phi Mu president Amanda Acree said the sorority only raised around $30. In past years, Acree said the fundraiser has collected around $100, but attributes the lack of participation to poor advertisement.

“Honestly, it was a lack of PR,” she said. “We needed to advertise better. A lot of students don’t carry money with them.”

Sophomore Kaci Forsythe was in charge of organizing the event, and said she was also disappointed in the amount of money raised.

“It didn’t go as well as we wanted it to,” she said. “We might try to sell tickets further in advance next year.”

Despite poor participation, Acree said the winner still had fun.

“Whoever the winner is usually has a really good time,” she said. “They have a lot of fun.”

Throughout the day, Long attended Schlapper’s classes including her Leisure Activity class where the president played kickball. She even dressed the part, sporting sweats and tennis shoes.

“For an hour, I was able to just enjoy myself,” Long said. “I was a part of the team, and I got tagged.”

Long then attended Schlapper’s LA 102 class, where she sat in her seat.

“I was so impressed by the depth of thinking,” Long said about the class. “It was just so impressive. I was proud of our students and of our faculty.”

Meanwhile, Schlapper was busy meeting with important campus leaders like Vice President for Marketing Annette Galluzzi, who discussed plans for Baker’s Web site and receiving a facility tour from Gary Walbridge, director of the physical plant.

“(Long) works like 13 hours a day,” Schlapper said. “I sleep that much.”

At the end of the day, Schlapper said she had experienced something she never thought possible.

“It’s been the best week of my life,” Schlapper said.