Asa Mittman 0

Commencement Changes

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Dear all: Every year, we gather in our grand robes to celebrate the graduation of our seniors. However, the way that we do this is needlessly brutal. We swelter and bake and burn. Every year. This is not enjoyable for the faculty, students, or families in the stands. This morning, when I stood up following the dictates of the ceremony, I felt dizzy and began to black out. While reaching out to grab hold of a chair to avoid falling, I waited for my vision to clear, and I decided to begin this petition. There are several ways that the graduation ceremony might be made more enjoyable for all parties. I propose that we consider any or all of the following: -Hold the ceremony in the evening, beginning as the sun sets, so that we can enjoy the beautiful, warm nights we have in Chico in May, rather than the burning heat of the morning sun. -Shorten the ceremony by not reading out the names of the graduates. When I graduated, the president called on each college in turn to stand, declared us all graduates, en mass, and then had us sit. The whole graduating class at Cornell -- a school slightly larger than Chico -- graduates in a single ceremony that lasts about 45 minutes. Beautiful. -Separate the commencement speaker from the ceremony. Hold the speech in Laxson or PAC, before or after the main ceremony (depending on when the main ceremony is to be held), in a setting more conducive to attentive listening. -Outsource more of the festivities to colleges or departments, which might hold their ceremonies *inside.* If graduates must be recognized by name, have them do this at their departments, where people are much more likely to know one another. This would be more intimate and meaningful than listening for the small percentage of familiar students from among all the names read. -Put up shades to shield faculty, students, and guests from the sun. I welcome any other suggestions to minimize the harshness of the ceremony. This should be a wonderful occasion, and there is no reason that it needs to be as harsh on all the participants as it currently is. If you agree with this notion, in general, please sign this petition. I will send it to Academic Senate next year, if it begins to garner a number of signatures. Thanks for considering this! Asa Mittman Art and Art History

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