Graduation without Taxation, Please.

To the GMU Law Administration: We believe that students should not be required to pay $136 and rent graduation attire in order to walk with their classmates. In an historically awful economic climate, some with six figures in debt, and weak career prospects, we have already suffered enough of a financial blow. A $136 entrance fee to graduation that serves mere aesthetic purposes seems unreasonably out of touch with this reality. Students who have earned the right to graduate should get to choose whether to rent graduation regalia. On February 14, 2011, members of the graduating class received an email from the SBA which stated that students must get measured no later than March 25 for caps and gowns. This email notified students that they could have measurements taken on February 16 and 17 in the Atrium, or anytime thereafter in the bookstore. All students were equally informed that the deadline for reserving robes was March 25, and no students were required to “opt-in” to renting before that date. The mere fact that some students chose to rent graduation attire at an earlier time should not weigh against students who chose to explore alternatives. Some students have expressed a desire for uniformity in the class picture. We believe this concern merits discussion. But we also believe that since students bear this expense, a decision should be made by the students, not the administration. For the foregoing reasons, the undersigned request that the Administration remove its requirement of renting regalia in order to walk in the graduation ceremony, or in the alternative, to allow the students who bear this expense to vote on the matter. After all, it is our graduation.

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