Recently, there have been changes regarding the upcoming Commencement ceremonies. These changes have belittled and degraded all students who attend VSU preparing for their upcoming graduation. Many graduate students feel the changes are unsupportive and do not show recognition for the amount of dedication and perseverance put into for the requirements of graduate level classes. Graduate students are held to a higher standard than undergraduates through higher admittance standards, GPA expectations, and rigorous coursework.
By combining the ceremonies and not signifying students receiving a higher degree in any significant way, it comes across that VSU equates a full time graduate student to an undergraduate who is graduating after 6 years at VSU with a 2.0 GPA and no plans to further their education. Understandably, this is comparing one extreme to the other and not essentially fair. But with no distinction, how could an outside visitor discriminate? Especially from a TV in Jennett Hall?
The nonchalant email with no explanation or contact information to the “committee” that produced these changes was the most infuriating. It came as a shock to me, as I had not heard that these changes were being considered. If this is how all future decisions regarding changes to events will handled and transmitted to students, the school can no longer be considered a place where students can voice their input. Previously, the opinions of VSU students have brought about changes to the campus that were embraced. How can VSU progress if the people receiving changes are constantly misrepresented or not represented at all?
More students from degrees at all levels should have been allowed to voice their input in different ways (through phone, email, and/or a meeting) before these decisions were implemented. Not giving students any way to oppose future changes will leave students with a bitter and resentful attitude towards VSU that will spread to family and friends. This will only enhance in their minds as they are crowded in the gym for hours.
I conclude with asking the committee for reconsideration. As Dr. Ben Carson stated, “A genuine leader can admit fault & has the ability to learn from their mistakes.” I ask this committee to reevaluate their decisions and collect student (and faculty) input before proceeding with these changes. If this is done, I will be assured VSU is under the most genuine leadership of all USG schools.