Due to a new policy instated by the Institute this month, each student is now limited in the number of family members and friends who can attend his or her graduation: six for fall and three for spring. This comes only weeks after the official cancellation of future summer commencements.
In having a limit, and an oddly-numbered one at that, students must now choose between three or six of their favorite people to attend the event, while leaving the rest out all together. This is unfair for a majority of the student body. Brothers, sisters and grandparents all have to be ranked in order of importance to the student. International students, many of whose parents purchase airfare far in advance, must now turn away their families. This sort of responsibility should not be placed on the students.
It is understandable that space is an issue, but there are many venues throughout Atlanta that could host the event, such as the Georgia Dome. The up-to $70,000 Tech now saves is a mere drop in the bucket of its billion-dollar budget, highlighting the fact that, economically, this is likely intended as a cheap, quick fix to a larger budget problem. This decision-making devalues the experience of graduating from one of the most prestigious colleges.
Furthermore, by grouping all majors into one tour de force ceremony, the duration of the ceremony will be significant. This issue could be resolved by splitting graduation ceremonies, one for engineering and one for all other majors.
Finally, the Institute did not appear to approach the student body for this decision-making that so directly impacts students. It is now SGA’s responsibility to represent the student body and to help students who disagree with the new policy work with administration toward a solution.