Baker students, professor to 'explore' Washington, attend inauguration
Baldwin City, Kan. — Six Baker University students and a professor prepared this week for a 16-day trip to Washington, D.C., which will include attending the inaugural ceremony of President Barack Obama on Jan. 21, as part of Baker's interterm.
Led by Lee Green, professor of business and economics, the course is titled "Washington, D.C. Travel Interterm: The History of Our Nation's Capital City." Green has organized the trip every four years, starting with the inaugural ceremony for George H.W. Bush in 1989.
Students joining Green for the unique interterm are Justin Lane, Gardner, senior; Megan Pontius, Overland Park, freshman; Andrew Leiker, Lenexa, senior; Katelyn Morris, Goddard, sophomore; Owen Lewis, Basehor, sophomore; and Paige Smith, Hesston, sophomore. In preparation for the trip, the students attended six classes to discuss the founding and history of D.C.
"I thought it would be interesting to not just be a tourist but to study the history behind all the public institutions and national memorials," Green said. "Seeing the students having the experience visiting all these different sites makes it all worthwhile. We visit in more of an exploring, learning type of way. We are trying to get as much out of it as we can."
Interterm at Baker is held every January, covering three weeks between the traditional fall and spring semesters. The Washington interterm has resulted in other opportunities for Baker students, Green said.
"It has sparked their interest in securing summer internships in the White House and with their U.S. Congressmen," he noted.
Among the sites listed on the group's itinerary are the White House, U.S. Capitol Building, Supreme Court, Library of Congress, Ford's Theatre, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, WWII Memorial, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, six of the Smithsonians, Holocaust Memorial Museum, Newseum, Mount Vernon, Old Town Alexandria and Arlington Cemetery.
"I am looking forward to experiencing and exploring all the sites to learn more about what we have studied in the classroom," Pontius said.
Arrangements also have been made for the group to hear the Missouri v. McNeely case argued at the U.S. Supreme Court. The issue is whether law enforcement may force a suspected drunk driver to take a blood test under the exigent circumstances exception to the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement because of the rapid dissipation of alcohol from the bloodstream.
"Afterward the students gets to meet the attorneys and ask questions," Green said. "They have been studying the case and are prepared."
Interested in history, the students are looking forward to the interterm.
"It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Smith said.