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Response to Commencement At Barclays

Dear President Steinberg,

In addition to my own personal vendetta, I have been asked to represent the Social Work club and the Social Work Department to express our concerns and disappointment regarding this year’s commencement. As you said yourself in the memorandum sent out November 28, commencement is about “linking each institution to its own roots and all to a tradition that dates back many centuries.” In the case of Post, we have our own roots and traditions which include a ceremony on our campus for the past 53 years. Last year was detrimental to students because of the name change, but at least the class of 2012 was able to hold onto C.W. Post’s tradition graduating in the white tent on the Great Lawn with their entire graduating class. As an orientation leader, I was able to witness the community that had formed and seeing the entire class together as one, really gave me something to look forward to for my own graduation. I am now saddened to find this tradition and unity of C.W. Post has been broken.

This ceremony at the Barclays Center is not an adequate form to celebrate our academic achievements. The maximum of two guests is a perceived potential problem, as many students have expressed already.
To have guests travel to Brooklyn to a large venue and then exclude family members from entering is unsuitable. Not to mention the discrepancies between academic calendars forcing Post to wait for Brooklyn tograduate. However, what is most infuriating for Post students is the new three ticket limit for the ceremonies on our own campus.

Due to the amount of money this school has spent on a frivolous name change, the wonderful tent we look forward to seeing every year will be absent. With the tent on the Great Lawn guests were unlimited and everyone could witness the students graduate. Now with the two separate days for recognitions and awards at Post, tickets are limited to three per student, where in years past this was not the case. Families are going to be distraught and a time of happiness will be turned into pressured decision making for the students on who can watch them graduate and who is not worthy enough to earn the golden ticket. In addition, the separate days will destroy this campus’s unity. Not everyone will be seen in their cap and gown on the same day. Families and friends will not be together for this special event we have all looked forward to for the past four years.

I would also like to acknowledge your quotes in The Pioneer dated December 5. Apparently our opinions about our own graduation is not important enough because “if there’s a deep sense of anger,” oh well. You are passing this problem onto your successor which I find to be widely inappropriate and unprofessional. For you to end your career at this school in this manner, only shows your eagerness to leave and an absent compassion towards this school and the students. We may be one university under our new “logo”, but this is one campus, with one student body who hold one opinion on our one and only college
graduation. I sincerely hope you consider my opinion and the opinions of others I am representing as well. I look forward to your response and I hope we can come to terms where your wishes as well as the students’ wishes are met.


Audrey Thompson
Graduating class of 2013

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