This coming May, there will be a parade of graduates traversing the stage at John Carroll University. Or will there be? Graduations are traditionally held in the quad. However, that tradition requires the cooperation of Mother Nature.
Last year’s commencement ceremony was held at Cleveland State’s Wolstein Center. The last minute change was made because many believed that the ground at the quadrangle was potentially too wet and might have resulted in a muddy ordeal.
JCU officials have been thinking that it would be better to have the ceremony remain on campus.
If it rains the day of the commencement, the University’s current plan is to hand out ponchos to all who attend the ceremony. If it rains extensively prior to the ceremony, and the quad is drenched or likely to be inaccessible, the event will be cancelled.
Due to the fact that the current plans cause graduation to be cancelled if the quad is soaked, JCU is currently looking for input from its senior class in constructing a final plan for the commencement ceremony. One option is splitting up the graduation into sections among campus. One problem with this is that students would be limited to three guests. This would also mean that the commencement would not be a university graduation, but a division graduation.
The other option is to have it somewhere off campus, such as the Wolstein Center. This solution involves renting a different facility and ensures that graduation would no longer be a campus event.
At this point, none of the options seem desirable. Wearing ponchos seems to diminish the celebration. Splitting the graduates up into smaller groups and limiting family and friends removes a degree of grandeur and excitement. Moving to an off campus location eliminates the tradition and JCU ambiance. Seniors need to take a stand and speak up about graduation. Commencement ceremonies should take place at JCU. In the interim, let’s hope for cloudless skies and moderate temperatures.