Rushed and hushed

After serving as Class of 2022 president for three years and vice president her freshman year, Samantha Collette will not be allotted time to speak at her graduation. 

Due to time constraints, a speech from the senior class president has been cut from the program.

In an article published in the April 8 issue of The Gatepost, Collette said time for the undergraduate commencement ceremony has been limited because it is being merged this year with the graduate ceremony.

Instead, tucked away in a hallway, amid the chaos of pre-graduation jitters, right before she and her peers begin their walk, Collette will give her speech.

How are people going to even hear her? Will she need a megaphone?

It has been two years since Framingham State students participated in a real, in-person graduation ceremony. Yet, this spring, the ceremony is barely even about them as the trustees and administration can’t spare five minutes to the student class president to speak to and for her graduating peers. 

With the senior class president cut from the program, FSU undergraduates will only have the opportunity to hear the speeches of people they hardly know.

Students are not likely to remember the words of a random person who doesn’t know them, but every word spoken by someone who has been through it all with them would resonate.

Seniors have spent the half of their college experience in their bedrooms on Zoom as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Graduation day is meant to be for them and all they have achieved despite the disruptions to their college experience.

However, graduation has become less about celebrating students and more about racing to see how quickly the University can complete a combined graduation ceremony.

The plan to merge the two graduations is absurd and disrespectful to each population of graduates.

Each group, undergraduate and graduate students, deserves their own moment in the spotlight, which should not be shortchanged simply for convenience.

Both populations experience college quite differently and their graduation ceremonies should reflect that.

The ambiance of each graduation is going to clash, which will only bring about vexation for everyone.

In an email, President F. Javier Cevallos said combining the two ceremonies is an idea he has had for a while, and he thought undergraduates seeing graduates “hooded at the ceremony is a source of inspiration for undergraduates that are thinking about pursuing graduate work.”

However, according to Cevallos’ administrative assistant, Katie Hebert, the hooding will actually not take place at the ceremony.

So what is the point?

It sounds as if graduate students won’t be participating in a hooding ceremony.

According to the Princeton Graduate School, hooding is a time-honored tradition recognizing students’ successful completion of their respective grad programs.

Graduating from college is no easy feat, and what students have accomplished should be celebrated.

Without students, there would be no graduation. There is no excuse as to why graduate and undergraduate students can’t have their own individual ceremonies when they are paying the fee for the venue.

Students deserve to feel valued at their graduations and not as if they are a burden disrupting the trustees’ and administration’s weekend. 

With the COVID-19 pandemic and all the usual challenges that come with being a student, graduates of Framingham State deserve proper recognition of their success. 

Part of that recognition for undergraduates is to hear words of wisdom and celebration from their own elected class president.

At the very least, let Collette speak.