Opinions & Editorials

Point/Counterpoint: Should Commencement Be Held at Madison Square Garden

POINT

BY MONICA HORAN, STAFF WRITER

In determining where the commencement ceremony will be, the simplest logic is that the location should fit the occasion.

A day four years in the making needs to be acknowledged in a great fashion at place that matches the occasion; Draddy Gymnasium is not that place.

Students wok hard and study to get to this one moment in their lives. Parents sacrifice to give their children this opportunity. All parties involved should have their accomplishments recognized in that is equally as special.

It takes away from the “once-in-a-lifetime feel” by holding it in Draddy. Most students on campus have spent a good amount of time there already. Passing through it is a daily occurrence for some.   Holding the ceremony elsewhere gives it more of an important feel.

MC graduates deserve a special ceremony as all the other graduates in the area receive. Pace University hosts their graduation ceremony at the theater at Madison Square Garden and New York University students receive their diplomas at Yankee stadium.

Schools that hold their ceremonies on campus include Columbia University and Fordham University. However, both of these commencement ceremonies take place outdoors on the college campuses. MC does not have the space on he quad to accommodate the graduates and this guests.

A desire to have graduation move is in no way an attack on Draddy, although the building has received its own criticisms in its quality for a Division I facility. Gyms are meant for sports and physical activity. Nobody wants to sweat through the approximately three-hour ceremony. Commencement should be held in a place that was designed for shows, performances and ceremonies.

There is something informal about graduating in a crowded, un-air-conditioned gymnasium. Moving the ceremony to a hall downtown would allow friends and families to sit comfortably in a cool space built for these type of events, rather than sporting events.

It is ludicrous to suggest that the basketball team practice or have games in Smith Auditorium. In this sense, it is also wrong to suggest that commencement should be held in a gym.

The only conceivable concern about moving the ceremony downtown would be driving and parking. In a way this increases parking, parents can park up at school and take the subway. Those who would prefer to go into the city, most halls rented come with designated parking.

To give credit where credit is due, student activities, public relations, physical plant and all the grounds and facilities crew responsible making the commencement what it is in Draddy do an incredible job. However, two things they cannot do is create more space for guests and cool down the cramped space when its 80 degrees and humid out.

Moving the ceremony to Radio City Music Hall would be more comfortable for more people. As for the travel, unless parents, family and friends all live on campus or in the Riverdale area, travel is already a factor in the commencement ceremony if it is held on campus.

COUNTERPOINT

BY JOSEPH CUSMANO, SENIOR WRITER

While the idea of Madison Square Garden housing graduation may sound appealing to most, there are most definitely more cons than pros that each graduating senior should take into consideration.

The idea of allowing more guests to attend is the most obvious benefit if the class of 2015 graduation is to be held at MSG. But what about the headache graduation will cause for the majority of graduates, which will be driving or taking public transportation to the event?

Parking is going to be much more inconvenient as well as the events that normally precede and follow graduation. Where will a post-reception be held? How easy will it be to meet with classmates and loved ones both before and after commencement? These are questions that administration must take into consideration.

As an undergraduate student who will be graduating within the next year, I can envision nothing other than an on-campus graduation. It’s the only thing that sits comfortably in my head as I think about the upcoming day, one of the most important moments for my family and myself.

After an exhausting four years of being challenged academically, and after having one of the greatest personal and social growth periods of my life so far, I would imagine that myself, as well as most students would like to close one of the most important chapters in my life at the very same place that I opened that chapter- here, on campus, at Manhattan College.

Graduation day is going to be something that is going to resonate with all of us graduates when the moment comes. It is something we will relive and replay in our heads for the following days. We will think about those we’ve thanked said goodbye to, the next time we will see some of our closest friends and the moment we took the stage to shake the President’s hand.

Wouldn’t you like those replays, those memories, to all have Manhattan College housing those moments, as opposed to an unfamiliar arena?

On the big day, among those in the audience will be fellow MC community members that have watched you grow both mentally and personally. People who have pushed you, inspired you, challenged you, inspired you to do more- they will all be there. But where did you meet those people? Where did you accept those challenges? Where did you learn more about yourself over the past four years? On MC’s campus or at Madison Square Garden?

I think we know the answer.

Regardless of where next year’s graduation will be held, it is going to be a monumental moment to walk across that stage, be handed a diploma and know that you are capable of going on to accomplish big things.

Class of 2015, I implore you; if there’s one thing that you should make your voices heard about, have it be the site of your Graduation.

Speak up and vote for graduation at MC.

Nothing can take the uniqueness and beauty of graduation day away from you, but one thing can make it much more important to you- and that’s where it happens.