Campus, News

CSULB seniors advocate for traditional graduation ceremony during ASI Senate meeting

Long Beach State’s Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) Senate addressed the socially distanced graduation ceremony concerns that were expressed by Beach graduates during its Wednesday meeting.

The university’s spring commencement ceremony will be held at the Angel Stadium of Anaheim where graduates will be recognized for their achievements through digital slides and the Graduate Recognition Stage instead of a traditional walk, according to the CSULB commencement website.

During public comment, Lauren Alviz, a CSULB senior graduating this spring, expressed her concerns about not having a traditional graduation ceremony to participate in.

“This means more to us than just walking [the stage], but fulfilling a dream we waited years for,” Alviz said. “We did not spend thousands of dollars to graduate in a parking lot.”

According to CSULB’s commencement website, the Angel Stadium can accommodate up to 12,000 graduates and their families. However, each college will have its own ceremony date over two and a half days to avoid large crowds.

CSULB senior, Stephanie Varela is also graduating this spring and argues that California is already welcoming massive crowds due to the upcoming Super Bowl game, so graduation can be held traditionally when following COVID-19 safety protocols.

“In two weeks we are going to host the Super Bowl with over 60,000 people attending the game,” Varela said. “This past Sunday’s [football] [game] had almost nobody wearing masks. So if we [all] follow the [COVID-19] guidelines, I don’t see why we can’t have our [traditional] graduation.”

ASI Senator, Giselle Garcia assured attendees they are “working with the graduating class to address their issues.”

“When we met with students, we gathered that they want to be able to walk during the ceremony on the main stage while their name is being called,” Garcia said. “Their petition for these changes now has [over] 5,500 signatures.”

ASI Executive Vice President, Jeana Young also added that commencement concerns will be addressed in next Wednesday’s ASI meeting, where a CSULB commencement public relations representative will be present to discuss further details for graduation.

“I am a first-generation college student, having my name called out may seem small to you, but to myself and other students it’s something really big,” Varela said. “It’s a recognition [for] our family, [and how] our hard work paid off.”

ASI Senate will reconvene at 3:30 p.m next Wednesday, Feb. 9.

Editor’s note: A source correction was made for a quote said by ASI Senator Giselle Garcia instead of ASI Senator Shelbi Felter on Friday, Feb. 4 at 4:03 p.m

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