Graduation ticket limit concerns students

Story by The Booster Redux Staff, 2017-2018

At the beginning of the semester, seniors met with administration to discuss the changes to graduation. Many of us were notified that all seniors will receive eight tickets for the commencement ceremony. After much consideration, our staff members raised a few concerns.

During our conversation as a staff, a majority of underclassmen expressed desires to view the commencement ceremony. Yet, only two of those students said they would be able to obtain a ticket from a senior friend. A majority of the school population will not be able to watch their friends graduate in person unless a senior has an extra ticket.

While we recognize the need for change, we do not feel limiting each graduate to eight tickets will be effective. Though not everyone will use all of their tickets, many will have more than eight guests attending. Some will be traveling hours to come watch the ceremony on a screen in the auditorium.

We also worry the ticketing system will slow down visitors entering the gym. Who will be responsible for monitoring non-ticket holders and escorting them out of the gym?

In past years, we have witnessed overcrowding in the stands, guests cramming around the gym door and disgruntled relatives shuffling into the auditorium for overflow seating.

But for those who receive tickets, practically nothing will change.

The atmosphere of the gym will still be chaotic, and families will still be arriving early to reserve seats in their preferred location. Why limit the amount of family members or friends a graduate brings when a first-come, first-served basis is still in place?

One solution to this could be to add more floor seats. The choir risers and band seats take up a considerable amount of space on the floor. The seven encore members on our staff suggested reducing the number of singers to allow for more seating.

Another option would be to relocate the venue. This comes with a cost, but if the classes fundraise in advance, it could be covered. A bigger venue could also handle assigned seating, eliminating the hassle of finding seats. Families could celebrate the day instead of stressing about needing to reserve space.

We wish administration had received input from the students and family who would be most affected by the decision.

We acknowledge the fact that there are not enough seats in the gym for everyone. However, we do believe ticketing our high school graduation in the gym might not be the best option.

We hope the senior meeting on April 13 answers our questions and effectively communicates the procedures anticipated for graduation.