May 2022 graduation ceremonies at Meredith College will take place in the courtyard between Johnson Hall and Belk Dining Hall. On March 4, it was announced that Meredith College would allow each student four tickets to their graduation ceremony. Shortly after the announcement, Association of Meredith Commuters (AMC) President Bryanna Garcia, ‘22, organized a petition calling for the number of ceremonies to be increased from two to three to allow each student more tickets. On March 16, it was announced that while the number of ceremonies would not increase, each student would be allowed six tickets instead of four.
Student Government Association (SGA) President Sarah Powell, ‘22, met with Dr. Jean Jackson, Vice President of College Programs, along with Garcia on March 11 to discuss student needs regarding graduation. Garcia was unable to comment, but Powell provided The Herald with more information about their meeting.
“I felt it was important to meet with Dr. Jackson to communicate students' concerns about graduation tickets,” Powell said. “Given Bryanna and I are both seniors, we saw a lack of student involvement in the graduation process and reached out to Dr. Jackson to find a solution.”
Dr. Jackson explained that because of the graduate hooding ceremony also happening on graduation day, there was “little time” to hold three main ceremonies in addition. The decision to keep graduation to two ceremonies was also made in order to “ try to keep those ceremonies in the relative cool of the morning and avoid the possibility of afternoon storms,” according to Dr. Jackson.
“Last year, we had more ceremonies because we had to space out the chairs and keep numbers down because of COVID-19 restrictions,” Dr. Jackson added. “This year, the two ceremonies will look much more normal than we were able to achieve last year—grateful as we were then to have in-person ceremonies at all.”
While the petition’s original request for an additional ceremony was not granted, Powell said that she felt the College was “absolutely…receptive to [their] concerns.”
“In the meeting, Bryanna and I expressed several concerns from the senior class and possible solutions to Dr. Jackson,” she said. “Consequently, we felt that if the College could guarantee more tickets for seniors, this would provide some solace.”
Powell reminded students that SGA is “the voice of the student body” and that they should feel free to contact SGA with any concerns they have. Dr. Jackson added that Powell and Garcia presented a “convincing argument” and said she hopes that giving students six tickets will alleviate many problems.
“I appreciated Sarah and Bryanna’s coming to talk with me—they were ardent ambassadors for the Class of 2022,” Dr. Jackson said. “We all want the Class of 2022 to have as happy a graduation weekend as possible—we are proud of their resilience, persistence and strength.”
For more information about Commencement, including information about live streams for guests unable to attend in person, visit Meredith College’s Commencement page.
By Olivia Slack, Co-Editor in Chief