The First Thing I’ve Ever Cared About At Hofstra in 3 and A Half Years: We Want Our Graduation

Something indescribable and unexplainable happened to me sometime between leaving high school and arriving in my first college class. I generally just stopped caring about extracurricular things aside from taking naps and going to work. While I was still very concerned about my grades, you couldn’t begin to convince me that a potential employer was going to care if I was mildly involved in every club on campus the way my potential educators once cared about my high school activities. In high school, I had a hand in, literally, almost every academic club and honor society offered. That has not been the case at Hofstra.

While everyone made a real effort freshman year, I mostly watched a lot of TV in my dorm, took naps and attended 4 meetings of the Film Club. After I moved home sophomore year and started working off campus again, there was no hope to be had. Future generations, this was the wrong decision. Do as I say, not as I do. Get involved on campus. You will benefit enormous amounts. I’d love to go back three years, be in a sorority and involved heavily in student media and maybe student government. The most fun I’ve ever had on campus was my brief career as a Rugby player. Those girls are some of my only friends on campus despite the fact that I was only able to play one semester. Clubs are cool. Do them. It will all end too quickly.

ANWAY, my point: Hofstra has taken my lack of participation in student causes and decided to turn it on me at the only time it actually matters.

While I technically receive my degree in December, I made the decision to participate in the spring commencement ceremony.  It poured the day of my high school graduation and we had to rush through the presentation of diplomas, so I’ve never been able to enjoy a big outdoor ceremony with all of my friends. I have one picture of me with my friends in a cap and gown and we’re all trying to keep composure in the threat of the looming downpour. I was very excited to be able to have this experience, on a much grander scale, at college. Not to mention, because Hofstra’s schedule is always bizarre, all of my friends would be able to come and see me and my best friend – Cassie – graduate. Also, while I don’t have a ton of friends at school, I do have some and most of them are graduating in May so to be able to experience commencement with them rather than the assortment of strangers that will graduate in December would be preferable.

So, after making the arrangements to walk at graduation in May, I get the email: The new schedule for spring commencement. To account for weather, Hofstra has made the decision to move gradation from the outdoor [mostly unused,due to the cancellation of our varsity football program] football stadium as an un-ticketed and open event, to indoors in our basketball arena and each student will be provided five tickets. How will they fit everyone if each student has five people coming, you ask? Oh. It’s simple. They’ve broken up the ceremony by school. This means that my two best friends who are receiving degrees from the School of Education and School of Liberal Arts and Sciences will, in fact, not even be graduating with me because my graduation will be at a different time than theirs. This means I could not have only graduated in December with no actual consequence, but I could’ve not participated in graduation at all and saved some money on a cap and gown. I have friends in the school of comm and I love them a lot, but it means much more to me to graduate with Cassie and Jess and Amanda – non of whom are comm students.

So now, because I’ve spent so much time being uninvolved in school things, I have no idea the means by which I can do something about this. Thankfully, a group of kids a lot more involved in things than I am is doing something about it and I’m going to ride their coat tails. But, I dont understand how the powers that be at Hofstra are allowed to just slip an enormous announcement like that by in an email. I’ll be in debt for the rest of my life just to go there. They should probably ask me if it’s cool before they rearrange my plans like that. Don’t get me wrong, I understand their rationale – weather and things – but I’d really rather risk inclement weather than forfeit my graduation ceremony up front. We’re Americans. We don’t live in fear. Especially not fear of rain.

This is my plea, Hofstra. Please listen to us. I want a big, hot, sweaty, outdoor graduation that I can complain about for the rest of time. It’s in writing now so I can never curse you for not moving it indoors to the air conditioned arena. This is what we want!

My best friends and I braving the elements at Central High School’s 2009 graduation ceremony

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