Split commencement splits community

Meghan Parmentier

I’m the first to admit my weakness as an indecisive person. And that it’s a big part of why I’m a double major. I’ve been an avid reader and book collector since I was young, so majoring in English was an obvious choice. During sophomore year, I developed a strong interest in public relations when I took PRR101 with Professor Kurt Wise. (Anyone who has taken Wise in the past knows it is hard to come out of his class without such an interest in the field.) Alas, I could not choose between the two: an old love and a new interest. So I combined them. And I’ve been extremely happy with the harmony ever since.

Meghan Parmentier

Now, it seems I am faced with finally making a decision between the two. As the Chronicle has reported in last week’s issue, graduation for the 2012 class will be on the Quad, but it will be split. Last week, the details were revealed. On May 20, 2012, the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Business will graduate in a morning ceremony and the School of Communications, School of Health Sciences, and School of Nursing will graduate in an afternoon ceremony.

I, in my indecisiveness, have an issue on my hands. Graduation is not necessarily an experience I currently look forward to, because it means leaving the Quinnipiac community I have found comfort in for the past four years. Now, knowing it is a split ceremony, I look forward to it even less.

How exactly are double majors with degrees from colleges that are now graduating separately supposed to choose which ceremony to participate in? Favorite classes? Favorite professors? Best friends? Time of day that is most convenient for parents to attend? Dare I say, flip a coin?

I didn’t want to choose between English and public relations as a sophomore, and I certainly don’t now. I don’t want to choose between sharing the graduating experience with either the relationships I have developed with students and professors in the College of Arts and Sciences or every single one of my roommates who study in the Communications and Health Sciences schools.

I realize it is because of the people I’ve met and relationships I’ve developed that I will look back on these years so fondly. The Quinnipiac community was taught to us on the first day of QU101, and rapidly, that concept became a reality to us as a class, not separate schools. I understand the class size has grown so large that one ceremony would undoubtedly be long. But when it comes down to it, the ceremony is being presented as just that, split.

While I do understand the reasoning behind holding two ceremonies, I believe one united ceremony, with a class and friends who have spent the last four years together, is ultimately the best way for us to leave our community.