CSULB graduates share how they feel about the 2022 commencement plans

CSULB announced to graduates that their 2022 commencement ceremonies would be held once again at the Angel Stadium of Anaheim as they were last year.

Graduates will be given more information and updates on the school website.

Under the university’s Instagram post of the announcement, students began to comment how they felt about the plans for the ceremonies so far. Students continue to share their thoughts:

“Having a traditional graduation ceremony where we walk in front of our peers and family across the stage, instead of these small graduation recognition stages the school is offering us in place of name recognition, is important to me as a first-generation Latina student to truly celebrate an achievement. The lack of representation for cultural celebration for graduation as well is disheartening to see. Where are the plans to celebrate our endurance, our sacrifice, our vaccinations, and our motivation throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and life these past few years for the 2022 commencement? This achievement deserves true and authentic celebration.”

– Samantha McIntire, Spring 2022 graduate in narrative production

cyu“We’ve already been deprived of a normal college experience and education, so why are we being cheated out of a traditional ceremony that celebrates all of our hard work and achievements? The fact that we students have abided by the university’s requirements and followed its rules for this long speaks volumes about how badly we want normalcy in our college experience. If CSULB is willing to place 40,000 students back on campus for in-person instruction for an entire semester, the least the school could do is let the graduating class have a traditional ceremony on campus, walk across the stage to receive our diplomas, and hear our names called in recognition of all of the hard work and perseverance we’ve shown through what may be considered the most difficult years of our academic careers.”

– Rena Saccacio, Spring 2022 graduate in Public Relations

“I am a senior at CSULB majoring in international business. I for one am a first-generation college student coming from immigrant parents who would love nothing more than to see their daughter walk the stage. It has taken me several years to earn this degree and I have worked so hard and have made so many sacrifices to not have the proper recognition. I also graduated from community college but with the pandemic they never allowed us to have a proper ceremony and I had to watch my graduation on my TV in my living room with my friends and family. This is extremely important, not only to me but to my parents and my son who has sacrificed time away from his mom so I can focus on school and finals.”

– Erika Ramirez, Spring 2022 graduate in international business

“The university’s decision to do yet another year of ceremonies with the President’s speech, doing a procession for the faculty, and not allowing the students to walk or have their name announced during the ceremony feels insulting to many students. Especially as other schools have announced they will do traditional ceremonies. The faculty and President have the opportunity to attend graduation year after year, but this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a lot of students to be able to have that recognition in front of their families. Both of my best friends decided to attend Cal State Fullerton, while I chose to attend Cal State Long Beach believing I was attending a university for the students. Yet this is now the second year students have created a petition to have the university reconsider their plans. It is heartbreaking to hear that my friends will be able to walk and have their names announced and I will not. I also feel for my parents who have supported me endlessly through these past four years and will not get to see me walk or have my name announced during my own commencement.”

– Sarah Morales, Spring 2022 graduate in criminal justice

“As a son of immigrant parents who worked so hard for me to finally achieve this moment, it would mean the world to me to finally have that proper commencement/graduation moment and make them proud. To hear that this might not even be an option is a sad reality that I can’t see myself accepting. I understand that last year’s graduation ceremonies for the class of 2020 and 2021 had to be accommodated much differently due to COVID and the risk of exposing others. Whilst COVID is still very much an issue and has not gone away, I believe that it is still possible to at least have our names recognized for our achievements and be able to walk the stage whilst wearing our face masks to protect each other. The reasoning and logic behind CSULB’s recent plans for this year’s commencement are hypocritical, contradicting, and show little to no effort. Other nearby colleges and universities are having traditional ceremonies and after all of our hard work I believe we should too.”

– Gerardo Casillas, Fall 2021 graduate in studio art

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