Recently, I announced an opportunity for students to take my place as College President for a day. I am always looking for ways to connect with students, and this seemed like a fun way to do that.
As part of this day, the selected full-time undergraduate student will learn what it is like to be “President” by attending my meetings and taking part in some of my other obligations and duties. I will break out my backpack to trade places with that student, attend the student’s classes, and fulfill other on-campus commitments. Through this contest, I hope we can achieve a better understanding in both directions: for students to better understand the myriad of opportunities and challenges I face, and for me to be able to walk in a student’s shoes and better understand the opportunities and challenges of today’s college students.
The benefits do not end there. The winner will also enjoy a catered lunch in the President’s Conference Room with five of his or her peers and breakfast with me to discuss the student’s top three priorities for the student body.
In order to be considered, students must submit an application, their resume, and a 500-word written or video essay on the topic “What would be your top three priorities that would directly impact students if you were appointed President of Nichols College?”
One student contacted me to say that he thought it was a great idea and very brave of me to make this offer. Of course, as a rugby player, he wondered if he won the contest, whether I would be joining the team in practice. I replied that I would, but only if I was in an inflatable sumo wrestler suit!
Granted, it has been many decades since I’ve been an undergraduate student, but I am looking forward to this opportunity and what I hope will become a yearly event!