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Volume 68, Issue 1, Date


UH needs fall grad ceremonies

Samira Zaidi
Guest Columnist

Wake up, UH students: it's time to get active. There must be something that has you ready to protest and rally over. And I can certainly share that passion.

A lot has been going on has had me gritting my teeth. I was all gung ho about boycotting the campus bookstore for charging us outrageous prices, so I decided to give my business to online textbook outlets, which saved me a couple hundred bucks and put a smile on my face.

And I have been boycotting products made by companies whose CEOs give a percentage of the profits to the Zionist regime to continue on with its occupation.

But alas, what more was a poor student like me to do?

Start a petition. That's right. The crazy fact that students in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences completing their degree requirements in the fall do not have a traditional walking ceremony to look forward to has got me walking around campus, talking to classes and passing around petitions trying to garner support.

A majority of the students I talked to were shocked CLASS did not have a fall commencement. To them it just made sense to have one. I guess the administration is just slow to catch on.

With CLASS being the largest college on campus, I would think it to be fairly obvious that a fall commencement would not only be favored by students, but also by the administration. After all, it would no doubt alleviate the large number of students who would walk in the spring.

As of now, students can invite about 2.5 people to the ceremony because, not surprisingly, there isn't enough space to accommodate the family members and friends of 3,000-plus graduates. These graduates include not only the spring, but also those of the previous summer and fall. So, with a fall ceremony, those graduating in the fall could at least bring more family members and friends to share in the happy moment.

The administration wouldn't have to worry about finding room for the thousands of graduates of three semesters and their guests. Instead, by having two ceremonies, the number of graduates would probably be cut by about half, and there would be fewer complaints about only being able to invite your parents.

Some of you might remember the protest students of the College of Technology held last year about how they could only invite three people to their graduation. That of course was justified by the need to make the graduation ceremonies of the 75th anniversary of the University a big bang.

While on this rampage, I found out the College of Architecture also does not have a fall commencement ceremony, but three other colleges do. The Colleges of Engineering, Business and Technology all have fall commencement ceremonies, and they don't have as many graduates as CLASS.

So I searched for facts and was told by an official in the Office of Registration and Academic Records that the application fees we pay when applying for admission go towards the ceremonies.

Okay, I thought, but I wanted to back that up, so I went to the Office of the Treasurer and was told that after a student becomes a senior, he or she is charged a special fee that goes towards commencement ceremonies.

Oh interesting, but that didn't match, so I ended up at the Office of the Registrar, where I was told individual colleges pay for their commencement ceremonies. 

It all went through the individual college and the fees we pay to the college of our major.

But on my fee bill the only fee I pay which is directly related to my college is the CLASS academic advising fee, and Lord knows that instead, we should be getting paid to even wait for a turn to speak to an adviser.

I have heard some of the colleges that offer fall commencement ceremonies pay for them through funds raised by the college. 

But so far none of the officials of the colleges I spoke to could back that statement up.

The point is that students who graduate in the fall deserve a chance to wear a gown, walk across the stage, throw their caps in the air and celebrate with family and friends. 

Instead students of CLASS who graduate in the fall can only look forward to the mailbox, where their diploma will eventually be deposited, sans all the traditional fanfare.

I know some of you couldn't care less about walking and care enough that, hey, at least now I'm a college graduate.

There are also those students who, because of unavoidable circumstances or through decisions of their own, complete degree requirements in the fall but do they not deserve to bask in the glory of graduating from an institution of higher learning?

Some of these graduates will have full-time jobs, families or will be in an entirely different state by the spring rolls around. This is certainly not fair to them.

So, will you sign my petition?

Zaidi, a senior communication major who can also have her 
petition signed via e-mail, can be reached at


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