Save the fall ceremony

Canceling fall commencement in favor of a reception is unacceptable.

Daily Editorial Board

Last weekâÄôs announcement of the University of MinnesotaâÄôs decision to permanently cancel the College of Liberal ArtsâÄô fall graduation ceremony was met with some backlash. After pouring thousands of dollars and years of hard work into earning a diploma, it is no surprise that many students feel disrespected.

The reason for the cancellation, according to an email written by Dean James Parente, is the renovation of Northrop Auditorium. And after completion, the auditorium will no longer house the 4,000 seats deemed necessary for the ceremony âÄî the cancellation is permanent. In place of the ceremony, graduating seniors and their families will be allowed to attend a “reception” in their honor, which will be split into two separate events to accommodate all those graduating.

CLA has had years to find a new location, but still could not come up with a solution. The most obvious one would seem to be Williams Arena âÄî which seats over 14,000 âÄî but the University says it will cost twice as much as its usual fall commencement and provide an “inferior experience.” But an inferior experience is preferable to none at all. And the extra cost, supposedly $25,000, is equal to barely half of what a single student pays in tuition over four years at the University.

The ceremony could be split into separate events, as will be done with the so-called “Senior Celebration reception.” Using off-campus venues should be considered as well.

After years of hard work and sacrifices âÄî and tens of thousands of dollars âÄî the least CLA can do for students is give them a commencement. The University should respect the achievements of their students and find a venue for a real graduation ceremony. A reception just doesnâÄôt cut it.