About 330 students will graduate from the University of Indianapolis on Dec. 18, according to the Registrar’s Office website. While these students will be released from the university, they will not receive their diplomas until they walk in the commencement ceremony on May 7, 2016.
Senior information systems major Jacob Fisher is one of the students who will not be walking in a December commencement ceremony.
“I am all right with it, considering I have the ability to walk in May,” Fisher said. “If I could not walk in May, I would be very upset.”
Fisher is graduating this winter because during his college career, he changed his major twice and joined the military in the middle of his sophomore year. Fisher said that he was originally scheduled to graduate a year and a half ago.
“I feel like it [graduating] is definitely past overdue,” he said.
Fisher said he would rather walk in the spring ceremony because the number of graduates is greater, which helps create a greater sense of accomplishment, rather than celebrating in a room of 330 graduates.
He also pointed out that the weather is much better in the spring than it usually is at the end of the fall term, and the ceremony is usually outside on the football field. The weather probably would not permit an outdoor graduation in the winter.
Senior exercise science major Maya Vance also did not mind having to walk in the spring ceremony but could understand why others might care.
“I don’t really care [about not having a winter ceremony],” she said. “I can see how others might want to have one, though, if they do not live in town or nearby.”
Vance said a student might want a winter commencement ceremony if he or she lives a long distance away and would have to travel home and then back to Indianapolis five months later to walk at graduation, but she said that she would rather walk and celebrate in the spring with her friends.
Vance is choosing to graduate early for educational reasons. She wants to save as much money as possible and get a head start on her graduate degree.
Senior communication major Rachel Taller said she is graduating in December not because she needed to—in fact, she could have graduated an entire year early—but because she was not ready for her time at the university to end. Instead, she took a semester of easier classes and focused on enjoying college. Taller suggests that other students do the same.
“I recommend [that] everyone have at least one semester where it’s a little slower-paced and have some fun classes in it to really just enjoy the college experience,” she said.
Taller’s love for the university is why she was so disappointed that there was not a December commencement ceremony.
“I’m actually really hurt that there’s no winter commencement ceremony because I worked so hard to graduate early, and it’s almost as if my university isn’t acknowledging my hard work,” she said. “It feels like December grads are put on a lower pedestal than May grads.”
Taller said there is no senior week for December graduates while an entire week is planned for May graduates and it makes her feel like “December grads are kind of pushed into a corner.”
Taller said that a lot needs to change about the way December graduates are treated. She said the first step would be to is add a December commencement ceremony, then a senior week for December graduates. She said that December graduates also should be able to decide whether they want to walk in a December commencement ceremony or the May commencement ceremony.