Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, September 10, 2004
Students miss 'the whole banana' thanks to admins
As a first-generation college graduate-to-be, I want to express my rage at the total lack of consideration from the administration toward the student body shown by the unilateral decision to cancel this December's university-wide commencement ceremony. This decision was made during the summer, when the students were away and were not given a chance to express their opinion at this matter, which affects us directly. It is the closest thing I've seen to a dictatorship. It almost seems like it was done totally under the table and in a hurried manner in order to avoid conflicts and debate with us, the life of this school.
I want to remind the officials that we, the students, are the ones who keep the school alive and that their first and more important commitment should be to us, the student body.
As a Mexican immigrant, I have to say that I don't find the throwing of a tortilla offensive at all; I don't even see the racial connotation in it. I think this issue has been blown out of proportion and made bigger than it really is. If we are to find a solution for this issue, then I support the implementation of "Tortilla Marshals" or to work together to find a different solution to this problem.
I just don't think that such hard punishment is deserved by this graduating class just "to see how things pan out." To Provost George Davis I want to say that, not only I will miss "the whole banana" as his quote from the Wildcat says - a comment that I find distasteful as it belittles such an important ceremony - but I do feel like I've been robbed of something I've achieved with my hard work during the four years I have spent in this institution.
I would hate to leave this school holding a grudge against it for having denied me something that was rightfully mine. It boggles my mind to think of the way the committee acted during this summer; such secrecy is so appalling. I have to say I've never felt more discouraged with the university and its officials than I do today.
Cancellation a good move; smaller ceremonies better
Frankly, I don't understand the uproar surrounding the administration's decision to move to college commencements rather than university-wide commencements.
Given the size of the UA, I'd much rather attend a smaller, more personal commencement while sharing the stage with students I know and have taken classes with - who are my academic colleagues - rather than an unruly crowd of people I don't know.
Wouldn't you rather your family have a better view of you in a smaller crowd, as well as have a smaller crowd of others' parents to fight through?
I received my bachelor's and master's at a university of comparable size to the UA, and not only was there not a university-wide ceremony for undergraduates, but graduate and Ph.D. students also attended the college-wide commencements. There was no university-wide ceremony at all. In fact, larger colleges like arts and sciences were still divided up into four individual ceremonies.
While I do think that the cloak-and-dagger secrecy surrounding the change was unfair to the students affected by this decision, I'm also surprised that the administration didn't make such an expedient, sensible move a long time ago.
English graduate student