With commencement postponed indefinitely, grad fee should be waived

editorial cartoon by Danielle De Luna
editorial cartoon by Danielle De Luna

With the postponement of graduation ceremonies to an as-yet undetermined time, come several questions pertaining to how and when the University will be able to  hold the event.

One question stands out the most: Will seniors be granted a reimbursement of the required $140 graduation fee?  

According to an editorial written by the Campus Times staff last semester titled, “Graduation fees need to go,” vice president of finance and facilities Avo Kechichian said the fee is put toward renting graduation attire such as caps and gowns, the printing of diplomas as well as the cost of setup and equipment.  

Statewide shelter-at-home orders in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic have forced the event’s postponement. Many other universities have canceled graduation ceremonies outright. 

With no set date for the University of La Verne ceremonies, concern over whether students will be able to participate when that date is announced should be addressed. Although not all students may have paid their fee by the time the campus was moved completely online in mid-March, there were plenty of graduating seniors who already did.  

Since the fee goes toward the physical ceremony, and the physical ceremony has yet to be announced, seniors who have already paid deserve their money back. 

The global pandemic has left far too many of us struggling and without pay. Why are we being asked to pay for a ceremony that several do not know if they will even be able to attend?  

All graduating seniors had their eyes and hearts set for the last weekend of May with many of them planning extensively around this date regarding family, trips and job prospects. If the ceremony is postponed to a date that simply just does not work for some students, does the University really expect for these students to be okay with giving up $140 that could have been used toward more pressing concerns?  

The unemployment rate has skyrocketed since the start of this pandemic leaving everyone across the nation hurting. Seniors don’t know if they will be able to find work once they graduate.

This needs to be taken into consideration. 

We understand the postponement of our ceremony was out of everyone’s hands. The issue of reimbursement for that eventual ceremony is not. 

Graduating seniors deserve their money back for a ceremony they have no promise of being able to attend.  And this needs to be addressed by the administration immediately.

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