Walking on or away from the stage?

Pro: Walk and own that stage

by, Gina Wong 

Graduation is an exciting time for students, as it is a celebration of their achievements all of the hard work they have done, and students should walk the stage despite the high costs of graduation attire because no financial burden should stop them from participating in commencement.

Some students may agree with the fact that the college experience is not an easy task to complete and by walking the stage it provides them with the feeling that they have reached another milestone in their education.

According to collegestats.org, “among all racial groups, college graduates are more likely to report their health as “very good” or excellent” and the difference is mostly found among Hispanic and white graduates, as respectively, 43.1% and 42.7% are more likely to report better health.

Walking the stage and participating in commencement can be an emotional high for students because all the long nights of staying up doing homework and studying for tests has led to this one moment of receiving your diploma and hearing your name being called out by your teachers, while your family watches on and shouts out your name from the crowd.  

Also, at times attending college can seem like it takes forever to finish, but when the day comes all the feelings of anticipation and worrying that you will never leave fades away the moment you step on the stage.

Another added benefit of students participating in commencement is that they can take pictures with their friends and be able to capture memories because it may be the last time that you will ever see these people again.

Although the cost of graduation cap and gowns are expensive, students should not have to be obligated to purchase these items because a California law requires schools to provide students with the attire at no cost.

Students already have the worries of student loans looming over their head, and the last thing that they need to worry about should not be the missed opportunity because they cannot afford the graduation attire packet.

In the Pierce College Student Store, a college cap and gown set with a sash is $89.35. While an academic cap and gown cost $43.80.

However, Pierce can attract more students to attend graduation if they offered students the opportunity to rent a cap and gown.

For instance, some students will have the luxury of borrowing their sibling’s gown, but others will not have that opportunity.

Instead of having them purchase one, offering rental cap and gowns would be beneficial because a graduation gown is like a wedding dress, in that it will only be worn once for the occasion, and only for a couple of hours, as it will eventually end up sitting in their closet at home.

In addition, a change that Pierce could make in terms of the ceremony would be to separate the different departments and have individual ceremonies, as this will decrease the duration of the ceremony.

Students should walk the stage because not only is it a celebration of their achievement, but it is also a way of giving back to the parents who have made sacrifices for our education and to make them feel proud.

Con: Graduating free of charge

by, Nick Martinez 

Walk? I think not.

Getting an associates degree and transferring is an achievement, but is still just a stepping stone to another level of higher education.

Graduating from a community college does not validate walking across stage at a graduation ceremony.

According to payscale.com, those with a bachelor’s degree make 20 percent more than those with just an associates degree.

The majority of students graduating from a California community college are going to transfer to a University of California or a California State University. If all goes well and they continue their education, then this won’t be their only opportunity to walk for graduation and they will be earning a higher level degree to further warrant it.

According to gradschoolmatch.com, only 2.5 percent of university graduates go on to attend graduate school after receiving their bachelor’s degree.

This would mean that graduating from a Cal state or UC could be the only opportunity to walk at a college graduation, making it an even more important event in someone’s life.

Walking is not free either, as the cap and gown have to be purchased from the student store a college cap and gown set with a sash is $89.35. While an academic cap and gown cost $43.80.

Most students who attend community college are already living on a budget and it can be difficult to save money to pay for these fees.

Especially those who do not receive any financial aid and have to pay for their classes out of pocket.

If students choose to participate, there should not be any commencement fees charged at least to low-income students. It would be ideal to have an option to rent a cap and gown as it’s only going to be used for one night.

Especially if it is just from a community college, there would be no need to keep it and it would most likely be sitting in a closet.

The ceremony is also a long process, as there are many students to be read off to receive their degree on stage. The time you spend actually receiving your degree is cut short, making it feel overall less special.

This means you spend most of the graduation day sitting down listening to names being listed off for hours.

Some people also have difficulty getting a whole day off to themselves. A lot of community college students work part-time and even full-time, and some of their jobs can be challenging to get certain days off.

It is especially true for jobs that give students certain days off to allow them to go to school in the first place.

If a job rejects a time off request on graduation day, students would either have to find someone to cover them, or call out all together. This creates more of a hassle for something that isn’t necessarily a requirement.

And that is what it comes down to. Graduating on stage is not a requirement to get a degree or to continue your education. It is an option that will cost time and money, making it not in the best interest for graduating students.