Opinion

THIS IS NOT FOR YOU

The semester is coming to a close in a few weeks. I’m a senior and quite terrified of the whole thing. Not the graduating bit; the whole “uhhhh, what’s next” bit. The precursor to jumping into the real world, and by real world I mean a cubicle and re-runs of Everybody Loves Raymond, is our graduation ceremony, ushering many of us into that aforementioned phase of confusion and uncertainty.

Recently I received a generic email, detailing certain things about this ceremony, which I am to ceremoniously attend. One of the topics was typed in bold: GRADUATION SPEAKER INFORMATION. Naturally I perked up-I consider myself a good public speaker, and am decently infamous on campus. So I thought, ‘why not?’ I should give it a shot. Only to be greeted with the first requirement: GPA of 3.5. I’ll be honest, I don’t have a 3.5. I fall somewhere between 3.5 and 3.0.

I then got to thinking about how many others I knew who would make insightful and riotously funny speeches, but would not be able to because of that one requirement. Graduation speakers are notorious for being longwinded and boring, and quite frankly, not many people listen. So, why the requirement? Why not gauge the speaker by other qualities other than a GPA?

This isn’t to say that there are no other requirements. Surely, there are interviews that the prospective speaker must go through, but I think it’s ridiculous to make GPA one of them. Many of history’s geniuses were not the best in class. Does that detract from the valuable messages, insight and contributions that these people could give in a speech had this opportunity been presented to them?

Others will say that the GPA requirement is meant to weed away the riff-raff that may sign up. I understand that, and it’s all well and good; but why not weed them out in other ways, like interviews, written essays, draft speeches, recommendation letters, etc. There is a plethora of ways that the quality of a speaker can be measured other than a grade point average.

I don’t feel this way because I was denied the opportunity, although I would love to speak to the senior class; I don’t feel that I deserve it. Not because of my GPA, but because I was a transfer student, and personally, I believe that someone who has been here the full four-plus years can better represent the UM experience and the students as a whole on that stage.

I do hope whoever they choose with those requirements can rock our socks with their words. I still stand by my thoughts that a GPA requirement blocks viable candidates who would surely leave the audience in awe, because when it comes down to it, the quality of a person does not lay in the miniscule details of a grade point average.

That, years from now, will be meaningless.

Jovanni Bello is a senior majoring in computer information systems. He can and should be contacted at j.bello2@umiami.edu.

April 14, 2006

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Mark Richt said he’s spending the bye week evaluating everything about Miami’s offense, a process th ...

Mark Richt is sticking with the veteran. The Miami Hurricanes coach announced during the weekly Atla ...

Is there an apt comparison for this year’s American League Championship series between the Boston Re ...

If the University of Miami defense isn’t boiling with frustration by now, it must be simmering in an ...

Miami Hurricanes redshirt senior Gerald Willis was the lone UM football player chosen for the Associ ...

Through an innovative program, Miami Law students are empowering local high schoolers to think like ...

A grant from the German government will support a series of roundtable and networking sessions on U. ...

As BioNIUM’s new director, the chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology plans t ...

Fareed Zakaria, a CNN host, journalist and author, tells UM students that globalization and technolo ...

The program, in which UM students mentor high school students, aims to get first generation students ...

For the second straight year, all of the Miami women's basketball teams will be televised and f ...

The University of Miami soccer team heads to the Tar Heel state for a pair of road matches beginning ...

Get to Know U is a series that introduces the newest members of the Miami Hurricanes track and field ...

The Miami Hurricanes volleyball team improved to 10-5, 6-2 in the ACC, with a 3-0 sweep of Boston Co ...

The Miami women's tennis team closed the Bedford Cup with a perfect day, winning each match in ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.