Graduation ceremonies are a student's right

After four plus years of college, graduation is the one, albeit cheesy, but well-deserved ceremony we can all look forward to. The handshake of our department chair, the toss of our caps in jubilee, and yes, even the photo with dear grandma, are all something to be excited about. Why? It’s a salute to our hard work, and our hopefully promising futures.

That’s why we at the Xpress were disappointed to hear the psychology department was charging an exorbitant $85 a head for its department graduation tickets.

The graduation, held on the Hornblower Yacht, might be a department tradition, but traditions that make graduation unaffordable and inaccessible need to end.

Do your parents really want to pay $170 to see you walk, after helping you pay $25,000 (and more) of tuition for that very degree you walk towards? Not to mention the textbooks and student fees added to that.

The fee just to apply for graduation is already $100. Renting a cap and gown is $60 at minimum, and if you have honors, it’s $15 for the gold neck cord. Adding $85 for you and each member of your family is a price too steep to handle. It seems like an unnecessary cost added to your increasing student loan debt you have to finally face in your new career (assuming employment follows graduation).

We can understand the draw of the psychology department’s planned celebration. Who wouldn’t want to celebrate the end of college bobbing around on a luxurious yacht in the middle of the bay?

But, when weighed against the idea of commencing your college career surrounded by those who supported you along the way, the choice is clear.

This plan fails to serve the students and give them the graduation ceremony they deserve. By making it too expensive for many students to attend, the psychology department is running the risk of leaving their graduates with a bitter taste in their mouths. It’s hard to imagine a graduate speaking highly of a department that priced them out of their own graduation.

If they really understood their students and wanted them in high attendance, they’d make tickets cheap and give out many.

The psychology department’s efforts at damage control — trying to help low-income students by having an essay contest for free tickets — is in bad taste. Students who don’t have the money to pay for $85 tickets now have to write an essay to earn them? That’s the last thing we want to do when we’re crippled with senioritis. This contest translates to: hey poor students, graduation is free if you do one last piece of menial work.

So thank you psychology department. If we were psychology students and were willing to enter your offensive essay contest, we’d write you this exact essay and tell you why your costly graduation tickets would be thrown overboard.

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