Petition for December Commencement 2009
As students at SUNY New Paltz, we have learned a great deal - both academic and life skills - from our peers, professors, and people of the community. Our college years are sure to shape the rest of our lives and we all hope to look back fondly on our time here, with nothing but great respect for the college and the people who made our time here so wonderful. Many of us looked forward to crossing the stage in December, and knowing that although college life at SUNY New Paltz had ended, the skills we learned here and the people we met would surely resonate long after we had left. We are extremely disappointed to learn of the discontinuation of the December Commencement Ceremony. Students eligible to graduate in December have worked just as hard, taken just as many (if not more) courses and contributed just as much to this institution as their counterparts eligible to graduate in May. In recognition of our similar dedication and accomplishment, we strongly feel we are entitled to a ceremony in our honor that acknowledges the commitment, hard work, time, energy, and finances we have put towards reaching this extremely important moment in our lives. To discontinue the December Commencement Ceremony and ask us to walk in May 2010 not only diminishes our accomplishment, it sets it aside as something less important.Many people will see the ceremony as meaningless by that point. Many will have already started careers or moved on to Graduate school. For others it will be impractical or impossible to come back to walk in the May 2010 ceremony. Others would like to walk with their classmates and peers instead of postponing this moment until May with an entirely separate class, who also deserve a ceremony that is strictly their own. The combined December group/May group ceremony would be much larger and seem impersonal, diluting each student's individual achievement. We are therefore deprived of one of the most meaningful and significant moments in our lives - crossing a stage in cap and gown and gaining recognition for the accomplishment of graduating from college - this college, SUNY New Paltz. We understand the need to save money in today's world and while we applaud the administration for dealing with the unfair SUNY budget cuts to the best of their ability, the action of discontinuing the December Commencement only shows the students that our accomplishments are trumped by what is the most convenient financial solution. For our part, in the spirit of cooperation and in recognition of the college's efforts to reduce costs and save money in today's economy, we are willing to celebrate our graduation in what can be a "reduced" ceremony. Anything that can be done to cut the high cost of a graduation ceremony will be completely accepted and understood. Within the signers of this petition, the college is sure to find people extremely ready and willing to do anything possible in order to have our own ceremony - cut out the "unnecessary," forgo the programs, allow us to arrive early and set up chairs ourselves! We have worked hard throughout our time here at SUNY New Paltz and are willing to work that much harder to celebrate this accomplishment in the proper way. We, the undersigned, the expected graduates of December 2009 and our supporters, ask that you please consider the hard work and dedication we have shown SUNY New Paltz, acknowledge the importance of the students at this institution, and allow us the honor of graduating in our own, well-deserved December ceremony, when we have completed our coursework and are ready to move from one stage of our lives to the next. Thank you for your consideration.