Flormann’s Freaky Friday

Jimmy Fisher, Reporter

Move over MacDowell.

Junior Allie Flormann served as President for a Day after winning a United Way donation raffle during the fall semester.

Flormann took over President Michael MacDowell’s duties on Feb. 15. Her schedule began at 8:15 a.m. and concluded at 4:30 p.m. and included meetings, conferences and luncheons with members of the staff, including Peter Calkins, Carol Fahnestock, Jim Roberts, Sue Helwig, and Steve Filipiak.

Flormann said she really did not get many, if any, breaks throughout the day.

“I really didn’t get a chance to have a break for myself,” said Flormann “It was challenging to balance because you have this meeting till here, and then that meeting till here ,and you’re like ‘Okay can I wrap this up I gotta go to the next meeting?’ So time management wise, that seems to be the most difficult piece.”

Flormann said she got a rare behind-the-scenes look at how campus decisions are made.

“Putting every individual meeting together, to get to see the big picture, was really the most exciting piece,” said Flormann. “At the end of the day, I really got to understand that yes, you have a lot of meetings and you have to get a lot accomplished, but once you do get that accomplished you get the finished picture, and that was really cool.”

She said students only see final decisions, but don’t see the process behind why and how these decisions are made and how they will  benefit students.

“I certainly thought it was a lot of fun to get to know the background story of the University,” said Flormann. “As students we really only do see the finished picture. We don’t see the reasoning behind why they do this, why they do that, or why they increase our tuition by 11%, but it’s because of this reason, and this reason and this reason. To sit down and understand that as a student, it makes me more accepting, if you will, of why they’re doing what they’re doing because I know the reasoning behind it.”

President for a Day took a five-year hiatus prior to this year and MacDowell said he excited to have it back this year.

“[President for a Day] not only says that we care about the United Way, but it also gives the student a chance to learn and we to learn from the student,” said MacDowell.

MacDowell stated that the purpose of President for a Day is the student getting the staff’s perspective on how things operate.  Likewise, staff get  a chance to hear the concerns of a student.

With Flormann taking the leadership role of the University President, MacDowell usually takes over as a role of the student, but Flormann’s student schedule prevented him from doing so, as he did years ago.

“I went to several classes for Nick Wadas, a graduate here a few years ago,” said MacDowell. “He was an occupational therapy major, so I went to several of his classes. It was fascinating and I was learning a great deal about spinal cord injuries and how to recover more than I probably ever want to know.”

Sometimes a day in the life of the President is not about meetings and conferences, MacDowell said.  He recalled a time when there was an early morning fire in Gildea Hall and the student president for the day had to handle the situation.

“We had a fire in Gildea Hall at about 5:30 in the morning,” said MacDowell. “The student was in charge of the institution and worked with the safety office to get everyone out and we opened the dining hall early and everyone came over for breakfast. It was quite an event. Everything worked as they should with the fire doors and the RAs doing what they should, but that was what the student faced first thing in the morning.”

With the upcoming retirement of MacDowell at the conclusion of the semester, it is still uncertain whether president-elect Thomas Botzman will wish to continue the tradition.

“What I’m most proud about to come full circle is the fact that this institution gives so much to the United Way,” said MacDowell. “I think being President for a Day adds a little spice to it, and I think the students might consider ‘Oh, I might have a chance to win this’ and put in maybe ten bucks to the United Way. It’s a good cause.”

President for a Day is an award the university gives to a student who contributes to the United Way. The university donates money to the United Way on a yearly basis, donating close to $23,000 last year.

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