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Opinion – A Last Minute Nightmare for the Graduating Class of 2023

One thing that college students look forward to from day one of stepping onto campus is graduating. This event is supposed to be a celebration that brings together all the students from a graduating class to celebrate each other’s accomplishments. This year the class of 2023 was supposed to graduate on May 21, which has been planned since last year. With a little under three months left in the semester, Merrimack College administration decided to change that. 

Now, graduation will be held on May 20 and will be broken into three separate graduations. From the outside this might not seem like it is a big deal but this is causing massive problems for the class of 2023 and their families. With this change it creates massive problems with logistics of traveling to and from graduation, finding hotels, and separating the student body up during an event that should bring people together. This was apparently talked about a while back but wasn’t brought up to those who would be affected by it until the last minute and it was shared at an hour where students couldn’t reach out to the school to voice their concerns. 

Families now have to rush to change their flights and travel plans, especially international students. Families now need to book hotel rooms in the surrounding area if they aren’t able to change their flights and many might not be able to attend anymore. 

Along with the logistical problems this creates for seniors and their families it also ignores Merrimack College’s slogan of “We are One” because the school is breaking students into different sections, which creates separation among students. If the college knew they were planning on doing this they should have gave more notice to seniors and their families or another solution would be to push back this new graduation format to next year, starting with the class of 2024, so that there is ample time for students and families to plan transportation, housing, and other accommodations. While this new format might be successful in future years, it definitely wasn’t the right move for this year.