Requiring tickets for graduation: The problems and a solution

Birth, graduation from high school, graduation from college, marriage and your first real-world job; these are just a few of the huge landmark events in life. On such occasions, we typically want those we love to be with us to celebrate. Our close family and friends make the event all the more special.

Commencement is upon us, and seeing as only about 33 percent of Americans have the opportunity to graduate from college, the event is a momentous occasion. However, some students are struggling to include their closest supporters in their big day.

When John Brown University decided there was a need to issue tickets for graduation this year due to limited space, it sent some students into a scramble. Only seven lucky family members or friends could come to the big event.

Some students had already sent out graduation invitations to too many people. Others have more than seven people in their immediate family. Frantic pleas and wanted ads appeared on the classifieds. With only a month before the big day, students had little time to figure out what to do.

We The Threefold Advocate believe graduates should have proper notice in advance to prepare accordingly for graduation accommodations. Knowing that this was an especially large graduating class, JBU should have made the announcement that graduation would be ticketed earlier in the semester. An earlier announcement would have led to less confusion and stress among students and their families.

In addition, it would have been helpful to allow students to appeal the University for more tickets if they have more than seven people in their immediate family. This would have prevented the frantic scramble that broke out online following the announcement.

Another solution could be to break graduation into two ceremonies, with the first half of the class going at one time and the other half going later. This would allow friends of graduates to attend the ceremony instead of being relegated to the Berry Performing Arts Center to watch a live-streamed version. Cheering for your friend projected on a screen is not the same as cheering for them in person.

We hope that this year’s event goes smoothly despite the disorganization exhibited earlier this month. We The Threefold hope that JBU prepares better for future graduations and gives ample notice to students and their families if they continue to require tickets for the ceremony.