Commencement ceremony traditions need to be updated

Name-calling: Rite of passage students deserve


Previous issue of The Pinion, from December 2014, that headlined a petition made by Netty Leviticus to change commencement traditions.

Alexandria Buchanan, editor

McKinley High School prides itself on its many traditions, such as the Lighting of the M and not walking on “the oval” until graduation. Traditions bring students closer together and make their high school career memorable.

One tradition that has generated a lot of buzz around campus is the commencement ceremony. When the seniors graduate, they get to walk across the oval, but graduates’ names are not called. MHS is one of the only schools to not call graduates’ names.

In 2014, student Netty Leviticus created a petition to make name calling a new tradition at MHS. This petition was denied.

Reasons against name calling during graduation are that it would lengthen the ceremony and MHS students should be graduating as a class, not individuals. Unity is a major characteristic stressed at MHS that students will supposedly take with them long after graduation.

It is true that students should feel a bond with their class. Most have spent four years together, and graduation is their final event as a Tiger. For four years, students have dealt with school work, personal responsibilities and ex- tracurriculars before graduating. However, each student finishes these things individually, not as a class.

To graduate, students need to get the required amount of credits. Some may get help from classmates but your whole class does not help you to accomplish these things. You do what is required for yourself so you can graduate. Commencement is a time for family and friends to celebrate all of that hard work, and name calling is one major event at most ceremonies that graduates will always remember.

It is also true graduation would be a lot longer if we called names are called. However, if students want to be recognized, why are we restricting them from this? Students’ wishes shouldn’t come second to convenience. Students have made it clear that these commencement traditions should be updated, yet nothing has been done.

Adults on campus may say this is tradition and that the lack of changes is for the greater good, but with the students’ constant resistance, maybe it’s time for a change.

It’s not right, even if it is a “tradition.”

MHS students and staff take pride in maintaining traditions. However, traditions can be changed to make them better. If students continue to protest and give resistance, maybe it’s time for administration to start listening. We should not continue robbing students of this recognition if they continue to ask for change.