BY JEFF NOWAK—Editor-in-Chief
After four years of college, there are certain things you get used to.
A poor diet is expected, a large bill is inevitable and a lack of sleep is required, but at the end of the day, most would like to think they could get that $80,000-plus piece of paper in front of family and friends.
Not this year.
According to a recent email sent by Patrick Dilger of University Affairs, the 2012 graduation will be held at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, with the initial limit set at four tickets per graduate.
Dilger said he expects additional tickets to be available for most of those who want them, but there is no guarantee. Webster Bank Arena has a capacity of 7,000.
“I think we’ll be able to accommodate everyone’s needs,” said Dilger.
“We want this to be a memorable commencement for all of our students, and that’s why we’re moving.”
This graduation will definitely be memorable, mostly because this is the first time hearing about the venue change for most of the students who were required to register for graduation over 12 months in advance. Students on the four-year plan have watched the last four classes graduate at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale, but rain and extreme heat have made the search for a new venue necessary, according to Dilger.
The issue for students lies in the fact that an $80,000 debt has only guaranteed them four seats at their own largely overrated graduation. The new plan has also only granted students about two months of notice to plan who to invite—even less when considering the only guarantee is that there should be enough room to accommodate the demand.
Dilger said Southern is not alone; the University of Bridgeport also holds its graduation at the Webster Bank Arena. This is comforting before considering that UB is roughly five minutes away from the Arena and has a total enrollment of just 5,155 students. Southern’s enrollment is a bit higher, coming in at 11,769 for 2011-’12.
So let’s recap the “benefits” this new venue provides:
1. A 30-minute drive (traffic-free) for anyone coming from the New Haven area.
2. Four tickets and a piece of paper.
3. A possibility that more tickets could potentially be provided.
4. Two months to explain to most of your relatives why they aren’t important enough to see you graduate from college.
5. “Ample parking” and air conditioning, according to southernct.edu/commencement.
That last one doesn’t really seem to make up for much. But at least there won’t be any hunting for parking spaces.