A Plea: Make Graduation Great Again!


Anna Roth, Reporter, Satire

Comparing the spectators of Presentation’s graduation ceremony to a sauna in an old folks home might be crass, but it is certainly not wrong. Consider: both are enclosed, humid spaces, fraught with adults sitting too closely together.

The women fan themselves emphatically with magazines, programs, tissues, receipts, their tax returns, and any other paper products. The men sit with their arms crossed pretending that they are not sweating as much as they are. There is an undeniable lack of eye contact and everyone is staring forward.

Ask any stranger if being a part of an audience watching 200 high school students graduate in a an un-air-conditioned, under-sized gym is ideal, and they will immediately say no.

So why are we still doing it? There are so many other alternatives and so much room for improvement.

Many schools in the area have their ceremony outside and, while this may not solve the temperature problem, it certainly solves the space problem. Making use of our field will give every graduate more than the standard four tickets, eliminating the draft to pick your favorite siblings and grandparents to attend.

Yes, the field is difficult to convert into a sublime graduation space, but it is certainly possible. Setting up and then subsequently racking chairs is somewhat of a second nature to Presentation, so we could do it no problem. Plus, Grandma’s scoliosis won’t act up due to the lack of lumbar support on the bleachers.

However, critics of this plan point out that in order to maintain the quality of the field, it would have to be covered. This may lead to an exorbitant ticket price on graduation because covers for the turf are somewhat pricey.

But according to Covermaster, a business that specializes in turf and floor protection, covering the area of Presentation field would cost around $3,000-$5,000. So, for 1,500 people, (200 graduates, 6 guests each, and faculty) this comes out to around $25.00 per graduate.

Another complaint might be that the weather is too unpredictable to hold graduation outside. Unpredictable?! It’s California. In May. Even schools on the East Coast have graduation outside. Come on, guys.  

So let’s say an outdoor graduation still doesn’t sound feasible. Other schools in the area have rented spaces to hold graduation ceremonies. This could solve both the space and temperature issues. Each graduating class contains approximately two hundred students in it, which is measurably smaller than the more typical 600 student class at other schools.

This compact size would make renting a space more affordable than it would be for a more typical size class. There are several viable options in the area to accommodate the crowd of graduation and they probably have more effective air conditioning.

According to the listings on EventUp, the typical cost for renting a space for 1,500 people in San Jose is $5,000. This is the same pricing as covering the field. This is of course not counting chair rental and other additional costs; however, the baseline cost is pretty affordable.

This has the potential to also solve the perennial Pres parking problem. Renting a space could come with an attached parking structure that alleviates the hassle of arriving early to get a good parking spot or driving for hours to find a place to park on the street.  

Alas, it is too late to change the class of 2017’s ceremony, as the commotion is in motion. Hopefully in the future, the administration will take into consideration the back pain, sweat stains, and lack of personal space of all those trying to honor the accomplished women this institution has produced.