Graduation to be more intimate

Commencement 2002 will not be business as usual.
Changes have been made to this year’s commencement, as the rescheduling reflects President Donna Shalala ‘s desire to give students a more valuable and personalized graduation experience.
“President Shalala has directed the University to create a series of commencement exercises this year to allow students to be individually recognized on stage by the President and the appropriate deans,” said a memo to the deans and vice-presidents.
In the past, UM had only one commencement ceremony in the spring, followed by smaller convocations and receptions by the individual schools.
This meant that each student was allowed only 10 guests to the ceremony.
“I come from a very large extended family,” Shalala said.
“Forty people attended my graduation. If I had told them there were only ten tickets, many would have been very insulted.”
This year commencement for the students from the College of Arts & Sciences, School of International Studies, and School of Continuing Studies will be held at 8:30 a.m. Students from the School of Business and College of Engineering will have theirs at 1 p.m.
Graduates of the School of Architecture, School of Communication, School of Education, School of Music and School of Nursing will have theirs at 4:30 p.m.
All ceremonies will take place on the university green and students will be allowed as many guests as they wish.
Many seniors have mixed opinions to these changes.
“I personally think it is a pr move and in this pr move it is breaking tradition,” said Marilisa Jimenez, a senior in the School of Communication. “I don’t appreciate the change. I’ve been at this school for four years and was looking forward in participating in the traditional commencement.”
Jimenez continued to explain that this is a time for the students and the changes made are “at the expense of the students.”
“I think it’s good that President Shalala wants to individualize each student to make the students day more memorable,” said John Lopez, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Parents and students will be notified of these changes in writing through flyers, direct mail, and online resources.
Seniors planning for the Spring 2002 Commencement must apply for graduation by Friday, Feb. 8 through the EASY system.
They may also at that time order their regalia, which is free to all graduation students. Information about commencement and these changes can be found on the University web site.