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The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

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Small strings, big meaning

All University students should receive maroon-and-gold tassels

One week from today, spring graduates will begin converging at Northrop Auditorium and other graduation sites for their commencement ceremonies.

Friends will hug, moms will cry and deans will speak. Students will reflect on their University experience, the long road to graduation and the memories, good and bad, collected along the way.

It is a significant moment in students’ lives. For one day, they will wear the $30-or-more robes and hat and celebrate their achievements at the University. And from the top of their hats will dangle small, but often sentimentally important pieces of string that symbolize their defining moment.

Like a diploma, a tassel is a symbol of what was achieved and where it happened. Certainly, anyone who sees the white tassels of the College of Liberal Arts or the School of Dentistry’s lilac tassels will think of the University.

No, they won’t.

Unfortunately, every college has a different-colored tassel. Only one actually represents the University: the Carlson School of Management’s maroon-and-gold tassel.

It is nice to have separate graduation ceremonies for each college. It makes sense to group colleges together to recognize accomplishments in the many different sections of the University.

But when it comes down to it, every student is from the same University. There is no need to have different colors for each college’s tassel. If several colleges graduated together and some distinction had to be made, it would be more understandable, but still, not representative of the institution students are leaving.

It is not well-known that each college has its own colors. Maybe, if each college displayed its colors, there wouldn’t be so many looks of surprise and disappointment in the cap-and-gown lines at the end of each semester.

Tassels are a small piece of graduation day, but they symbolize something enormous. Many graduates will keep them for years as a reminder of where they came from. Maroon and gold for everyone, please.

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