Seniors should know what's happening when it comes to graduation

Courtesy of Baruch College

Courtesy of Baruch College

It is appalling that some members of the class of 2019 still aren’t sure whether they are in fact graduating. With a mere 91 days until the commencement ceremony, that seems like a shocking statement to say out loud.

But this isn’t new; not knowing seems to be a top complaint among students at this time of year. It should be listed somewhere as one of the characteristics of a Baruch College student. 

Maybe the college would blame the issue of not knowing so late in the game on the registration system, concluding that it takes time to audit each student’s grades and courses. Whatever the reason, it’s unfair and anxiety-inducing to seniors who’ve been wondering about their status and are anxiously wondering whether or not to go to commencement.

Even pushing aside the idea that some students are still unsure of their graduation status, there are other issues with graduation that we feel are important to air out.

The process to buy a cap and gown hasn’t yet been disclosed via mass email or the new texting system that Baruch has adopted. The Office of Student Life did send out the link to purchase graduation items in its weekly newsletter, but how many among the Baruch student population routinely and carefully dissect that list each week? Some of us only stumbled on the information while Googling a quick answer to where the ceremony would be and at which date and time.

We’re still expecting a mass email with more information because it seems like the obvious move to make to ensure that graduation is as easy as possible for all students. But we’ve yet to see one.

There ordinarily should be a lot of fanfare about the commencement ceremony; at other colleges, students look forward to it for months or years and dream of walking down the aisle.

Since Baruch grads aren’t given the chance to walk and some students aren’t sure of their graduation status until perhaps the middle of the spring semester, it seems like Baruch is contributing to stifling that fanfare. 

A significant number of graduating students opt out of commencement entirely. At Baruch, the norm is for professors, staff and faculty members to ask if graduating seniors are planning to attend commencement rather than just assume that they are. The answer frequently
is no.

These issues are prominent, but year after year, nobody seems to want to address them. We can only hope that next year’s graduation process will be smoother.