A poll was placed in the Class of 2015 Facebook group on Sept. 18 regarding plans for the upcoming May commencement ceremony. This poll asked whether or not students would prefer to keep graduation the same, meaning two ceremonies held inside the Ira S. Wilson Ice Arena, or change it to one large ceremony in the sports complex that is currently under construction. Since the stadium’s completion should be before this year’s ceremony, this is a viable option.
“Initially, we had some interest from some students who were wondering if we would be graduating in the stadium or not because there was an idea floating around that we might,” senior class president Ali Oster said.
It was this interest that sparked a discussion among the class officers, leading to the creation of a Facebook poll in an attempt to gather information about what seniors actually wanted.
“It would take so much effort and it would be so much change, so we wanted to make sure we were reflecting a majority of the students’ interests before we pursued it,” Oster said.
In only four hours after being posted, 105 students voted in favor of the larger ceremony, and only five seniors showed interest in keeping the ceremony the same. Oster noted, however, that since only approximately one third of the senior class are members of the Class of 2015 Facebook page, this data isn’t a completely accurate representation of the entire class.
Still, according to Oster, there was no denying the overwhelming support for having one large ceremony in the new athletic stadium. In an attempt to represent the wishes of the senior class, Oster and the rest of the class officers met with Campus Scheduling and Events to determine how probable this change would be.
“We learned that it will make the most sense to keep commencement as is for 2015; although the stadium will be finished it will still be new and unfamiliar,” Oster said. “Graduation is such an important event and shouldn’t be held with much uncertainty.”
It is with this in mind that the school has made the official decision to keep commencement as is, with two ceremonies in the Wilson Ice Arena. The idea of holding the ceremony in the new athletic stadium, however, isn’t off the table for future graduation classes.
“Personally, I think it would be really cool to have [graduation] in the stadium, but in the end we’ve been assured that it’s going be amazing anyway,” Oster said. “No matter what, the day is going to be memorable.”