Class of ’10 seeing red

Elizabeth Johnston

The class of 2010 is pissed off. And we should be. Graduation at TD Banknorth? Two separate ceremonies? No keynote speaker? Are they kidding?
The reasons given in the “memo” are simply not strong enough justification for this horrible idea. Yes, traffic is bad – but no worse than on move-in day. I think Quinnipiac students and their families are pretty accustomed to sitting on Mount Carmel for hours by now. Two years ago my sister graduated from Quinnipiac. Traffic was congested, but not intolerable. And it was worth the hour I spent in the car to see the Quad all done up, with students in their caps and gowns and families holding flowers and the trees all in bloom. Face it, half of us came here because the Quad is so pretty – and now we don’t get to graduate on it. Are they kidding?
This memo was eerily similar to the “May Weekend is dead because you’re all drunken fools and we aren’t paying for your laser tag and fried dough anymore” memo we received in 2007. During finals week. Right before vacation. It’s as if all the student affairs people got together and thought, “Hey – maybe if we send this out when they’re stressed from finals, and about to go spend a lot of time in the sun, they won’t notice! Maybe they won’t even realize they’re graduating on a basketball court.” Sorry, guys, but we noticed.
What wasn’t in the original memo is that we won’t have an outside keynote speaker. To me, that is even more disturbing than the thought of receiving my diploma with a scoreboard above my head and garish blue and yellow chairs in the background. What is the justification for no speaker? Vice President for Public Affairs, Lynn Bushnell said they feel it’s more rewarding for us to hear from our peers. We’ve gone to school with each other for four years. We’ve listened to the same professors for four years. Let’s get some non-Bobcat insight for once, shall we?
I thought the point of a commencement speaker was to give graduates inspiration for life after college. How is the liberal arts student with the highest GPA going to do that? More and more this ceremony is starting to sound like high school. A crowded, sweaty gym, student after student plowing through the same endless, poorly written, generic “go for your dreams!” speech.bring up any memories?
This is college. We worked hard for four years, and I think that deserves someone other than the Dean of Students up at the podium, like it was just any old meeting in Alumni Hall. The class of 2008 had Lisa Ling. Where’s our Lisa Ling?
All of this pales in comparison, however, to the two separate ceremonies. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has always imagined actually graduating with my friends. A crazy idea, I know. But is that too much to ask? Only in the twisted world that is Quinnipiac could the splitting up of our class be considered “special” and contributing to a sense of community. Do they not realize they are splitting our community in two? I’ve always imagined hugging my friends after I receive my diploma, and seeing them receive theirs. Now, when I graduate at 10 a.m., my friends will most likely be asleep because they aren’t needed until 3 p.m. So much for special.
The Class of 2010’s induction ceremony, supposed to be on the Quad, was held inside because of bad weather. We were okay with it, though, because we thought that in four years, we get our beautiful graduation on the steps of the library. Apparently not. Can nothing go right for our class? Next thing you know they’ll be canceling Senior Week because it is too cliquey and doesn’t have enough of a community feel.
This abrupt change demonstrates just how little regard the school has for the needs and opinions of the students. Already the “Say ‘No Thanks!’ to TD Banknorth” Facebook group has more than 1,000 members. There is no denying that the vast majority of students are against these ridiculous changes. It will be interesting to see if the administration listens.