Commencement relocation causes confusion for graduating seniors

By Cecelia Francisco
February 12, 2004

Marisa Gallelli

Rent that U-Haul truck now, Cabrini College’s Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement Exercises are moving over to the Edith Robb Dixon Athletic Field (meaning the field at the far end of the Dixon center parking lot).

In the fall of 2003, the Office of Student Development e-mailed a survey to all of its prospective graduates. They were asked to indicate whether they preferred that the ceremony remain on the Mansion lawn with attendance restrictions or that the ceremony be held under a large tent in another outdoor location with unlimited attendance.

Seventy-four percent of the 65 students who responded voted that they wanted the ceremony held under a tent with unlimited attendance.

“I think it’s going to be in the lacrosse field. We all voted on it, that way we don’t need tickets,” Catherine Luko, a senior liberal arts major, said.

Limited seating on the Mansion’s back lawn required a restriction of five guests per graduate in the past. If it were to rain on graduation day, the ceremony would be moved inside to the Dixon Center, where only two of each graduate’s guests were allowed, leaving the leftovers to cram into the Widener Lecture Hall to watch the ceremony via closed-circuit television.

“Moving graduation to the new location will allow us to provide graduates with admission tickets for the number of guests they tell us they’d like to bring to the ceremony,” Dr. Christine Lysionek, vice president for Student Development, said. “Guest seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.”

Because commencement is being held under a tent, the ceremony can now be held outdoors, rain or shine, without dampening the spirits of graduates and their guests, since the weather will not separate them.

“There’s not much we can say about it. It’s like a dead issue at this point,” Jim Peterson, senior English/communication major, said. “I don’t like it; you’re messing with tradition.”

The chain of information was passed through numerous levels and deciding factors before President Antoinette Iadarola gave her final approval for moving the ceremony.

After the responses were tallied up, the faculty and staff were informed on the issue and asked for feedback. Student Development then submitted a proposal to the president and her cabinet members resulting in Iadarola giving the final approval after the cabinet’s discussion.

Most students are happy about the increased guest list, but some students still feel out of the loop, either because they didn’t receive the survey or because they may have deleted it by accident.

“I don’t know who the speaker is, where it’s going to be held, or the number of tickets I can get a hold of. I’ve gotten nothing in my e-mail or sent to my home,” Paul Williams, senior English/communication major, said.

“I’m not sure what’s going on for commencement, I haven’t received any information about it,” Patrick Kelly, senior English/communications major, said.

“I don’t know the percentage of the current senior class who know where the commencement was held in the past. Consequently, we can assume any seniors who at least read the e-mail were made aware of where the ceremony had been held in the past,” Lysionek said.

Posetd to the web by Marisa Gallelli

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Cecelia Francisco

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