The Big Switch: Student Foundation member gains administrative insight

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    For four hours Monday, a student ran the university.

    Senior political science major Michael Ridings was nominated by Student Foundation to switch places with the chancellor for a day.

    In a yearly program called ‘The Big Switch,’ the chancellor gains an insight about the life of a TCU student while the student attends administrative meetings, Chancellor Victor Boschini said.

    The day began at 7:45 a.m. in Boschini’s office. Boschini attended Ridings’s morning classes. Ridings said Boschini sat in the back and students were surprised to see him.

    “It was pretty funny. He sat in my 8 and 9 a.m. classes,” Ridings said. “The teachers had great lessons planned.”

    After class, they had brunch in the Chancellor’s Dining Room. Ridings was allowed to invite six friends.

    “It was nice to have brunch with the chancellor and Michael,” senior Savannah McDonald said. “I think Michael and the chancellor learned from each other.”

    Ridings then met with the Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Communication, Tracy Syler-Jones, and the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement, Donald Whelan.

    “Michael had the chance to share his story with us,” Syler-Jones said. “I enjoy getting to hear from students because we have the opportunity to understand why they had a great college experience.”

    While Syler-Jones received helpful feedback, Ridings learned about his university.

    “I learned that there’s a large group of people that run the day-to-day operations of the university and makes TCU what it is,” Ridings said. “Not everyone knows that the vice chancellors put in hours and hours of work.”

    In addition to Student Foundation, Ridings is involved in the Student Government Association and is the president of his social fraternity.

    “I thought I knew the university pretty well but seeing that administrative side just opens your eyes to showing you that TCU is bigger than classes and teachers,” Ridings said.