I’m graduating in two months but I didn’t know that commencement had been moved (again) until five days ago.
President Jane Close Conoley told the Daily 49er March 13 this year’s graduation ceremony will now be held at the Jack Rose Track Field. This poses the question: when was the president planning to inform the graduating class about this location change?
The senior class of 2019 is just around the corner from graduation, a once in a lifetime event that they know little to nothing about. The commencement ceremonies are set to begin May 21 and run through May 24, but there’s hardly any information about it online.
In the past few weeks I have been talking about my upcoming graduation to family from around the country, who want to attend and celebrate this milestone with me. Many of them need to book flights as well as hotel rooms; others need to request time off work and schedule military leave in order to attend. All this planning is difficult to do when the school hasn’t released any additional ticket information.
I’m certain I’m not the only student with family to consider when it comes to planning commencement, yet here we are two months off from graduation and I don’t know much about the event, including if extra tickets for beloved family members and friends will be provided.
The lack of information that has been provided to students in regard to graduation is frankly frustrating and alarming. In August of 2018, I received an email that it was time to apply for the commencement ceremony in spring 2019. I sent in the typical application fee of $45, excited that the end of my college career was near.
Since then, I have not received any emails from administration containing information or details. My inbox is empty and my confusion is at an all time high.
After last year’s fiasco regarding the venue change, as well as the students’ plight to get live music back, I feel like it could have been a learning lesson to improve communications this year.
It’s not just information about commencement that’s lacking, but events leading up to it are also unclear. For example, I wasn’t aware the Grad Fair, an event where graduating seniors collect caps, gowns and well-lit portraits, was happening until the day it began. I did, however, receive a Grad Fair postcard in the mail two days after the event was over.
I didn’t know about ordering a sash until the initial deadline had already passed, which meant I had to pay more money in order to purchase one. While students are expected to actively seek out this information, many have busy lives and could use a helping hand in remembering important deadlines. LBSU administration or graduation coordinators could have provided an alert via email or Beachboard about important deadlines seniors may be at risk of missing.
President Conoley was quoted in a recent Daily 49er article, stating, “I don’t think people will really care,” when regarding the changing of the venue.
Well I care, President Conoley. I’ve worked really hard for this moment and I think you should care too. Sure, it’s not a huge deal that the venue was changed, but we should’ve been notified about these changes when the decision was made.
If the information hadn’t been told to the Daily 49er, when would we have been informed? If I’m being honest, I haven’t forgiven the administration for moving graduation from upper-campus, but I’ve learned to pick my battles.
Conoley was also quoted as saying, “We’ll be able to offer more tickets … some ceremonies won’t even require tickets.” That sounds awesome, but I want to know when and how.
Again, I will reiterate that there is roughly two months before we we walk up to that stage and this is important information we need to know in order to plan accordingly.
I’m sure there are plenty of students such as myself who have family and friends visiting from out-of-town for the occasion. We deserve to know what to expect at this year’s ceremony as early as possible in order to prepare. It’s not just us potential graduates who are affected, but our relatives and friends as well.
All I ask from LBSU is that they please provide us with the information that we need. We worked hard for 4+ years for this moment and we absolutely care.