Moving graduation loses sentiment of seniors’ last hurrah on Perry campus


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Freshman year we stepped onto Perry’s campus as 14-year-olds who didn’t know the lunchroom from the library. We gradually got our feet on the ground, and found our tribes. We joined clubs and tried out for sports teams and auditioned for plays and dance concerts. We became apart of the Perry culture.

Throughout this time, we have seen three classes graduate. Three years worth of Pumas have walked across the stage set up on the same football field we all congregated at on Friday nights. They secured their diplomas right there on the grass, their final conversations with teachers and friends taking place under the lights of John Wrenn Stadium. Their final moments on Perry’s campus as a student were with a cap on their head and a diploma in their hand. Maybe they drove away with their eyes locked on the road ahead, maybe they cast one last glance in the rearview mirror. Either way, they were offered a few final moments to close this chapter of their lives.

But that will not be the case for the Class of 2018.

Our class, the Class of 2018, will be graduating at ASU’s Wells Fargo Arena. Off campus. No longer will we toss our caps up under the same lights we all know so well. No longer will we get to drive away from Perry with our diplomas in hand, the same halls we have walked for four years in the background as a gentle reminder that high school has ended.

That will be no more.

Now, we will have a huge arena with half of us sitting on the floor and the other half in the stands. We will sit in a foreign building, with an unfamiliar set up, with colors surrounding us that do not match the crimson and navy we have grown accustomed to.

Having a big stadium to sit in is a huge bonus that comes with ASU. But there are plenty of solutions that could have been implemented to keep gradation at home. For example, having a ticket policy would keep numbers relatively low so getting seats wouldn’t be complete chaos. The live stream offered in the auditorium and online would give friends and extended family the opportunity to see their student walk across the stage and get their diploma.

The venue change will be more convenient yes, and those who have aunts, uncles, grandmas, grandpas, cousins, neighbors, and friends coming from all over the country probably breathed a sigh of relief. Now they would all get to sit comfortably while they watched the ceremony.

But what about the seniors? The ones who the night is supposed to be about? It seems unfair that their night is moved 20 minutes away because a few people want to invite an entire village to watch them.

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