As May 23 approaches, seniors are both excited and nervous to graduate. But many are also stressed about the limited amount of tickets we are given to distribute to family members on the big day.
Each Stony Brook student set to graduate receives only three tickets this year. Comparatively, students at SUNY Binghamton receive at least six and up to ten tickets, while SUNY Albany requires no tickets at all, meaning it does not limit the amount of guests students are able to invite.
Stony Brook should reconsider its ticketing policy, which is largely affected by the venue used to host graduation. The commencement ceremony is held in the Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium, which has a maximum capacity of 8,136 people. The size of the stadium is extremely limiting and causes issues for graduating students.
Families are diverse, and not all of them are made up of two children, a mother and a father. Students have step-parents, lots of siblings, grandparents—and they all want to celebrate milestones as important as college graduation.
Many travel across the country, even across oceans to come to the event and it is difficult to turn away the people who have supported you and your education throughout the past four years. Viewing a livestream of the ceremony online or watching it across campus in Frey Hall is a poor substitute for actually attending it, especially since this is first come, first serve.
After investing so much effort and money into receiving our degree, the least the university could do is accomodate us better on our last day here. Beyond the financial aspect, the university celebrates first generation students and graduates.
Because of the significance of this milestone, turning away family members from graduation can be more than upsetting.
Why doesn’t the school turn to viable alternatives? Winter commencement is split, with the sciences graduating in one and students of the arts graduating in the other. Or maybe even hosting it somewhere else, like other schools do could be an option – NYU has theirs at the Yankee Stadium, and their student body is comparable to ours at 50,000 students.
One thing is for sure – the year-end tradition of scrambling for tickets is not the best memory to hold at the end of your collegiate career.
The Editorial Board