Seniors kept out of the graduation loop

To most people, including many St. John’s students, May 13, 2007, is Mother’s Day and nothing else. This year, May 13 represents four years of hard work and the culmination of more than 40 classes and at least 126 credits. It is the date of the graduation ceremony on the Queens campus.

Despite the recognition of the fact that seniors’ undergraduate studies are almost over, there are many concerns regarding the actual ceremony. So far, the University has done a poor job of informing seniors about the graduation details since many still have no idea what lies ahead of them in terms of events, application deadlines and fees.

For a school that has just revamped their journalism program, there seems to be a lag in the information that is disseminated to students. St. John’s Central is a key communication tool that the University chooses not to use when dealing with seniors, but why? How much easier would it be to post the upcoming events for seniors so they do not have to be on campus to know what is going on? Despite the fact that relaying the information is sometimes inadequate to properly inform the right people, the Office of Student Affairs held a graduation expo in Marillac Terrace on Thursday. The turnout was low considering the amount of seniors St. John’s has. In fact, some students say they did not even hear about it. One such student is journalism major Risa Dixon.

“I have an internship that I go to Monday through Friday and I’m only on campus at night for classes so I don’t hear about much unless one of my friends tells me,” she said. Dixon also said that she had not heard anything about graduation this year. “[I’ve heard] nothing. I just pray that it goes smoothly.”

Pamela Shea-Byrnes, who works in the Office of University Events, said that this year’s graduation is going to be different.

“We’ve noticed that in years past, we diffused the energy of graduation,” she said. “By breaking up the graduations by college and then having one giant ceremony, we kind of robbed it of its energy.”

Byrnes also made it clear that St. John’s is dedicated to making the college experience much better, but the entire process is still a relative unknown to many seniors. Senior portraits, paying for cap and gowns, and other senior activities are unknown to some seniors.

Word of mouth is becoming the only way for many seniors to find out information about one of the most important events of their lives. It should not be that way.

St. John’s is constantly revamping things on campus. From buildings, to curriculum, to transportation to and from campus, and even the graduation ceremony, St. John’s is trying to make life better for its students. The one area the institution is lagging in is communication. It is a nice thing to be able to look forward to a treat after four years of college, but if no one keeps students updated on what is going on, how can they possibly know?