Letters to the Editor

Students oppose new graduation ceremony

Dear Editor:

Actually, this letter is directed to President Lefton. Count me among the many in strong agreement with Brandi Slick’s Nov. 30 letter, regarding your plans to revamp Kent State commencement.

As a fifth-year Kent State student and a parent who has attended the ceremonies of two daughters, I can assure you thatÿtheÿfocusÿof graduation day is neither on you nor onÿthe guest speaker. We come to seeÿthe people we careÿmost about at the culmination of their many years ofÿeducation and hard work. It is an extremely personal,ÿproud and highly emotional experience for the students and for their families, and it needs to be honored at the right moment, not months earlier or months later.

Many of the students who I have come in contact with carry an enormousÿfinancial burden to achieve their goal of a earning a degree. And speaking for their parents, it is quite a hardship to work for many years toÿprovide our childrenÿwith this education that is an absoluteÿnecessity in our times. Each year it becomes so muchÿmore difficultÿto do so. For some, that graduate may be the first person in their family to earn a degree. For myself, it will be the culmination of a 30-year-old dream to return and finish my education.

If you institute this new policy,ÿyou willÿdepriveÿa great many students of theÿreal excitement of thatÿday and, instead, present them and their families with anÿinsignificant and anticlimactic substitute.

It is simply a horrible thing to do to those who make up the heart of Kent State: its student body. Go ahead and try to present this plan to us as a “grand dayÿfor the entire Kentÿcommunity;” you’re not fooling anyone. Find other ways to save money for the university; I can think of plenty of cost-trimming ideas for you. I implore you to drop this idea and leave commencement intact.

Susan Dlott

Senior general studies major

Dear Editor:

I am writing this letter in response to the new university commencement policy for the Fall 2007 semester. I feel that it is unjustified for the university to suspend the December commencement for that semester and force seniors who will complete the degree requirements in December to come back the next May if they wish to walk and receive their diploma.

Commencement is supposed to be a special time in people’s lives where they can finally get the recognition they deserve for all their hard work. It is a time to celebrate with friends and family, but most importantly to just be recognized for their accomplishment. If the commencement is to be held only in May, it would take away the chance for many students to celebrate their accomplishment. Returning for a May commencement may be impossible or create a severe financial hardship for those who live too far away to come back (for example, international students, out-of-state students, students moving away for jobs). This would be a bittersweet ending to a scholastic career and is sure to cause resentment. Trust me, I know. A similar situation happened to me when my high school graduating class was not allowed to attend our last day of classes at Kent Roosevelt back in 2002. A part of me cannot forgive the administration for what happened, and I don’t want to leave Kent State with the same sense of loss.

Although the administration might think it is a good idea to have one large commencement, I can whole-heartedly tell you many students feel it is a bad idea. Students should have the opportunity to participate in a commencement ceremony the semester their degree requirements are completed.

Steven Davic

Senior international relations major