By: Brandon Nakao and Melanie Rodriguez
Several Long Beach State seniors spoke in objection to a survey regarding the spring 2022 graduation ceremony during the Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) senate meeting’s public comment on Wednesday afternoon.
Gena Faranda, a linguistics and sign language major was the first to speak in protest of the survey that was sent out to graduating seniors on Tuesday, Feb. 15.
“I am very livid about the survey that was sent out,” Faranda said. “The wording that they put for option three which is the more traditional option, looked very unappealing.”
CSULB’s commencement survey listed three options to choose from for graduating seniors to select a preference. One option suggested having a traditional graduation ceremony where students could walk on stage. Another option suggested the current socially distanced plan, and the last students could select if they had no preference.
Viviana Garcia, another graduating senior, said the survey was “completely skewed in order to convince unknowing students to pick a specific option which the university is currently advocating for.”
Garcia also said the survey’s third option is “skewed” because of the wording where “students have to be in direct sunlight for four hours of the ceremony and having live music taken away.”
Klara Schneider, also a graduating senior, felt that the survey was a push toward the socially distanced ceremony option and made students feel like they would not enjoy their graduation if the traditional ceremony option was chosen.
“The greatest thing the university could do to show their support [for its student body] is to have a real commencement ceremony,” Schneider said.
David Smith, a parent of a graduating CSULB student, also voiced his opinion that since masks mandates are being lifted and other public restrictions, it does not make sense for students to not have a traditional graduation.
“You’re having [the graduation] in an outdoor venue,” Smith said. “[Angel Stadium] is one of the biggest ones out here in Southern California, and it makes no sense to not allow the students to walk across the stage and have their names called. They have earned it.”
In response to the graduating seniors and other advocates for a traditional-style commencement ceremony, several ASI senators agreed that the survey prioritized the university’s preference.
ASI Senator, Salvador Peregrina, who is also a graduating senior, voiced his thoughts on the survey being biased towards the socially distanced ceremony.
“My sister’s middle school business class has better professionalism,” Peregrina said, regarding the handling of the survey. “It seems like the entire commencement office doesn’t have any type of sensitivity towards the topic of [graduation].”
Peregrina concluded his remarks by stating that he will continue working with fellow senators, the executive team, and faculty and staff to provide a proper commencement for students.
“This is completely unacceptable,” Peregrina said in his closing remarks.
ASI Senator, Millaray Ramirez will also be graduating this spring and agreed with Senator Peregrina’s perspective. They both felt frustrated with the survey’s wording and its commencement plan.
“I [one] hundred percent feel you,” Senator Ramirez said to the fellow graduating seniors present at the virtual meeting. “I feel the same way and I know Salvador [does too].”
ASI Senate will reconvene at 3:30 p.m next Wednesday, Feb. 22.