It’s that time of year when winter graduates are preparing for their ceremonies and walking with a skip in their step because they are getting a piece of paper that symbolizes their work, patience and perseverance.
Before the commencement ceremonies, they will dress themselves in robes and mortarboards and a dangling bundle of strings that will sway back and forth ” a tail, a piece of educational lingerie. Like the diploma, the tassel is a symbol of achievement, of unity. We are all Gophers, and we graduate as Gophers. Unfortunately, the tassels are all different colors. Wouldn’t it be nice if they were maroon and gold to match the school’s defining colors?
Last year, the editorial board wrote an editorial recommending that the University reconsider its practice of having different tassels for different colleges. The College of Liberal Arts has white; the School of Dentistry has lilac tassels. We again ask the University to change this policy. In another sign of being valued over the rest of the University, only the Carlson School of Management has maroon and gold tassels.
This is admittedly a minor injustice on the surface but indicative of a larger antagonism many University students feel toward Carlson School. One only has to read the Network or pop into some ethics classes to find there is an underlying dislike of Carlson by other parts of the University.
The University can take an easy step toward narrowing that gap and limiting the feeling that the Carlson School is the favored child and have all college graduates walk with the maroon and gold tassels. Rather than differentiation, this University needs unity. There is no need for students to feel slighted.
Since graduation ceremonies are separated by college, it does not make sense to have different tassel colors. There is no need to differentiate. Each college does not display its colors, and there is no real significance to the colors of tassels except for the Carlson School’s.
The University is making an effort to increase its number of graduates in the coming years. Let’s hope the colors that hang from all their hats are maroon and gold.