LFTE: Administration causes unmeasurable disappointment for 2022 grads

Winter Commencement and the feelings surrounding it

The rush of sadness and disbelief was uncanny when I received a text message from the faculty advisor of The Collegian, Ted Daniels saying “Did you get a text about December commencement being canceled?” last Tuesday evening.

Like many of my peers, I have been counting down the days until I can walk the stage, signifying I have finally made it. Showing that the hundreds of hours I put in going to classes, homework and studying has paid off. All of the exhausting days going from school to work to be able to afford tuition so I could earn a college degree would be money well spent. At last it would be my turn to share these accomplishments with friends and family who have encouraged me through this journey.

And it was almost taken away from me and all other graduates in the winter 2022 class.

To some, a ceremony is not necessary to feel a sense of achievement, a degree is enough. For me and many others, this ceremony is a final goodbye to the last four years of perseverance and motivation that brought us to the end.

I feel extreme gratitude for those who called and texted me expressing their sympathies, knowing I have been looking forward to Dec. 17 at 10 a.m. since the beginning of my senior year, and for those who signed a petition and fought for this graduation, but the bottom line is we should not have had to fight in the first place.

Ashland University’s decision to no longer have a December graduation after this year is, to be quite frank, absurd. College students graduating in the middle of the year deserve to be recognized for their accomplishment when their time at AU is complete, not six months later in May.

Six months. AU wants future December graduates to come back after six months to receive a proper farewell from the university. Where will you be in 182 days? Will you want to come back to little Ashland, Ohio to walk a stage? Will you want to take time off work from your new job to fly back for a ceremony you deserved months ago?

As students, we work so hard to earn good grades in classes at this university. We fork out so much money to this school to attend these classes and they decide not to let us walk a stage when we deserve to?

If you would have asked me four years ago as a first year student if I cared about December graduates having a ceremony they very well earned, I probably would have said no, but during these last four years, I, as have the rest of the students at Ashland University, have built lifelong friendships with my peers that we want to celebrate as we walk that stage and say goodbye to college and hello to the next stage of our lives.

I have never been so disappointed to be an Eagle.

A December 2022 graduate