My roommate called the Registrar’s Office to find out how many tickets were available to each senior for the Commencement ceremony. The director told her the information was not available because it had not yet been decided whether graduation would be on the Ellipse or in the MCI Center.
Curious, I made the same phone call and was told by a different person about how many tickets we would receive, but I was also told that I should check back later because it’s early, and there is a possibility that the venue may change from the Ellipse to somewhere else.
This is an outrage.
I understand there are immense financial considerations involved in an Ellipse Commencement because a suitable rain site must also be reserved. And I understand that construction at the Ellipse could force the ceremony to be held elsewhere. But I resent finding out about this accidentally. I believe it is irresponsible for the University to make decisions affecting the fate of the culmination of arguably the most important and definitely most expensive four years of our lives without involving us in the process.
The Ellipse Commencement is part of what brought many of us here – the idea of being part of the Something that makes this city and this school great. It seems wiser to me – in the effort to preserve the Something that Happens Here attitude – to hold on to traditions like the Ellipse ceremony instead of annually inventing new traditions like bonfires, hippos and tape-recorded bells.
If this University is truly a business that does a little educating on the side, as The Hatchet quoted President Trachtenberg as saying a few years ago, then it should behave as a business. Clients – the student body – should be kept informed and be made an integral part of the decision-making process. We were promised and Ellipse Commencement, and we expect that promise to be kept.