I am writing this letter to administration in an attempt to understand the ticketing procedure for this year’s commencement ceremonies which are scheduled to take place in the Bren Event’s Center. As a graduate of the School of Social Ecology at UC Irvine, I am honored to be able to graduate after four long, hard years of work. After struggling through those four years, I am now faced with another obstacle. This one concerns the ability of my immediate family to attend this moment of glory with me.
Due to the change in location from Aldrich Park to the Bren this year, each member of the graduating class of the School of Social Ecology is restricted to a maximum of four guests. Based on these four tickets, we are forced to pick and choose who we are able to invite. I find this situation extremely difficult because those four tickets will not even cover my immediate family, which includes my parents, two sisters and two brothers.
Because I am restricted to only four tickets, I cannot even consider inviting friends whom I have grown up with, friends whom I have graduated with from preschool to high school. Considering that we have gone to separate colleges, I can only wish that they could at least witness my achievement, but due to recent circumstances, this cannot even happen.
This situation burdens me because graduation should be a joyous occasion where loved ones should be able to share and relish in each other’s presence. However, due to the capacity limit at the Bren, this is practically impossible for most peers I have talked to. A question that has been buzzing through the campus recently is, ‘Why did we have to switch our locations for the ceremony and thus be placed in this incredibly difficult situation?’
Aldrich Park is a beautiful location for graduation. Considering we live in Southern California, it is guaranteed that the weather will be fair. Sunshine is common and expected at this time of year. The heat may not be welcomed, but it is expected.
That is part of graduation; this is why many people wear beautiful summer outfits to these occasions. If the reason for a relocation is based on comfort for the audience because of weather, I can honestly say that for most people, weather may not be loved, but regardless of this, friends and family will and do come out to be a part of the ceremony. What is a few hours of heat compared to a lifelong memory?
As faculty, alumni, family, friends, peers and colleagues, if you were asked to go back to your graduation and pick only four people to take with you in one of the most important milestones of your life, could you do it? For most people who will not go on to graduate school, this is their last graduation and, to say the least, the most important one. How can we realistically take this away from them?
In order to help alleviate the heartache for many of my peers who will be graduating this year I have a suggestion to make and hope that you may consider this.
I am aware that some ceremonies in the past have been held at the Bren, but from what I am aware of these ceremonies mostly consist of small schools who are able to fit in the auditorium. I am also aware that there is the possibility of a second round of tickets but realistically speaking, you as well as I know that this will be hardly feasible.
Past graduations in the Bren have had a history of being unable to provide a second round of tickets, so how would this possibly work in a larger school? I suggest that we stick to the already implemented, efficient plan we have used for graduation for so many years in the past. I think it is best that we continue to have the ceremonies for the larger schools in Aldrich Park so that we can accommodate the students and their families. At Aldrich the audience will feel move free to move about without feeling as if their movements are a distraction. The setup of Aldrich is convenient and feasible in capacity. If this year is meant as a test run, please do not let that happen. Why test something that is already working? My peers and I honestly do not want to be a part of this pilot study.
Please do not take a risk on an important moment in our lives. Take this as a plea, a voice of concern for the larger percentage of graduates. We want our families and friends to be able to be a part of this moment in our lives, just as much as you would want your parents to be a part of yours, or you to be a part of your child’s.
If you have read this letter and feel that the matter is out of your hands, please help direct it to the right person or, even better, make it an important matter to you as much as it is to me and my graduating class. Any discussion will be greatly appreciated. Replies are welcome.
Filed Under: Opinion