President Kaplan Addresses Graduation 2013 Concerns

Elizabeth Field

It’s only September, however graduation seems to be on the mind of every member of the class of 2013. At the Sept. 7th meeting of the Undergraduate Student Government Association (USGA), UNH President Steven H. Kaplan addressed the body of students regarding possible scenarios for the 2013 graduation ceremony to get a clear picture of the student’s opinions.

President Kaplan offered three proposals for discussion. The first option for the 2013 graduation was to continue to hold the ceremony at Wallingford’s Oakdale Theatre and reduce the allotted tickets to students from six to five.

In 2012, students were offered 6 arena tickets and 1 live feed ticket located in the lobby, however, UNH staff have decided to forgo the latter option simply because no one actually attended the live feed showing.

Increasing class sizes and retention rates have made the 2013 class UNH’s largest yet, making it impossible to accommodate each students request for six or more tickets. However, if the first option is chosen, students will have the option of signing up for a waitlist for extra tickets. In past years, many students only required two or three tickets, and as these become available, they will be made available to those on the waitlist.

The second proposal President Kaplan offered was to break up the undergraduate ceremony into two sessions, similarly to the way undergraduate and graduate ceremonies were held last year. The College of Arts and Sciences and the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences would have an earlier ceremony while the College of Business and the Tagliatela College of Engineering would be held with the graduate school’s ceremony.

While this would increase the ticket size allotted to each student from five to six, students in attendance at Friday’s USGA meeting expressed concern over not being able to graduate alongside all of their friends and peers.

The last, and most unpopular, proposal was to change venues from the Oakdale Theatre to a larger, although less desirable venue in Bridgeport, Conn.

Overall, students were pleased to have their concerns regarding graduation addressed so soon in the academic year, and there was a general consensus to graduate wholly as a student body at the Oakdale Theatre this coming year.