Hold graduation in the Icardo Center

 The Runner Staff

Graduates spend years working toward the ultimate goal of attaining a degree from CSU Bakersfield. Graduation is the culmination of countless hours of sweat, stress, and work – only to be rewarded by a 7 a.m. outdoor ceremony, which acknowledges them for a whopping three seconds in blistering weather.

It is a shame that students are forced to sit out in front of the CSUB Amphitheatre without any type of overhead cover.

Graduation also has many hidden costs. For those coming from out of town to see a loved one cross stage, they must either stay overnight, which some cannot afford, or they must leave their homes around 5 a.m., which makes attendance a luxury for some and a burden for others. CSUB holds these ceremonies early to avoid the climbing temperatures, but it’s not enough. Temperatures can easily reach 100 degrees by noon in Bakersfield. After the countless thousands of dollars funneled into the university by students, as well as years of studying and stress, the least the university can do for the students and their families is not let them roast for four hours in the sun. It’s not only uncomfortable for grads draped in caps and gowns, but potentially a hazard for children and the elderly to be exposed without cover.

Graduation should not be something one must endure. Therefore, we believe such an occasion should be hosted in the Icardo Center. One could argue that the Icardo Center is not large enough to accommodate the masses who attend graduation, and they would be correct. To that, we say split the graduation ceremonies across multiple days.

This has multiple benefits. First, a gradution indoors would shield people from sunburn. Secondly, rather than graduates being herded across stage like cattle for a three-second announcement, one could revel in their achievement for an amount of time worthy of the time spent earning it. Perhaps if CSUB changed the venue of its graduation, there would not be a sea of empty chairs glaring in the sun toward the end of the event, left by those fleeing the heat. It is an embarrassment to the university and a shame for students that have not yet crossed stage to have their name called in front of an emptying Amphitheatre. We urge CSUB to change the venue to the Icardo Center, or at least a covered ceremony.

CSUB students deserve better than this.

The Runner editorial board consists of Steven Barker, Robin Gracia, Esteban Ramirez, Josh Bennett, Andrea Calderon, Michael Wafford, Eric Garza, Heather Hoelscher and Richard Garibay.