Opinion

Commencement at SF State: Why is there no winter graduation?

December 18, 2018

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Commencement at SF State: Why is there no winter graduation?

With the end of the fall semester fast approaching, seniors at SF State have one thing on their mind: graduation; although, SF State’s commencement ceremony is set for May 28, 2019, five months past the end of 2018’s fall semester. With more than 30,000 students set to attend in May, it is rather confusing why SF State does not have a fall commencement ceremony for those leaving in December. Graduating seniors at SF State in December will have to choose whether they want to walk at AT&T Park or not walk at all.

California State Universities have 22 different campuses and SF State is one of the few that chooses not to hold a fall ceremony; including CSU Long Beach and CSU East Bay. As a student who is graduating this fall semester, I have to wait until May to experience a commencement ceremony. I don’t know if I will have a full-time career or what the future holds. That being said, it is hard for fall graduates to set the date for their May commencement ceremony. Two ceremony options would make it easier on those who have to leave San Francisco after their semester ends. It would be a better option to split up the large number of 30,000 students that gather at AT&T Park in May and hold two separate ceremonies for each semester.

Graduation ceremonies are supposed to be fun, so what reason does SF State have to push for one big ceremony? It would make more sense to hold two ceremonies because it is more convenient. We are excited about the anticipation of graduating, but that excitement fades because we have to wait so long to walk. CSU’s such as CSU Los Angeles and CSU Sacramento have ceremonies in December and I think that SF State should follow in their footsteps. San Francisco is a huge city and commencement locations are not limited, administration should be able to find a location large enough for the graduating class of fall 2018.

The long wait to May 2019 will seem like forever. It is frustrating that I have to wait a whole semester to walk since graduation is something I have been anticipating for a long time. The ceremony is a time for family and friends to celebrate my accomplishments, so the only reason I chose to walk the following semester is because of their excitement. It is more of a waiting game for myself and other graduating seniors in fall, because the excitement will eventually dwindle down by the time summer approaches. The accomplishments I have made here as a student will not be forgotten, but my enthusiasm for graduation has faded.

Students should not have to choose between a May ceremony and a December ceremony. The university should honor each graduation class by semester. These ceremonies celebrate the students achievements and triumphs over the course of their time here at SF State and marks the beginning of a new chapter in their lives.Walking across that stage to receive that diploma is an unforgettable experience and we as students should be able to choose between ceremony dates. It is time SF State reconsiders their decisions regarding commencement.