Commencement is a very hot topic right now for WCI. There have been ongoing conversations between staff and students about the new date. Commencement at WCI has typically taken place in November, while many other high schools have their event in June or July, to enable all students to attend. WCI’s commencement committee has been debating this issue for a while now. We decided we should hear the inside scoop on what they have decided. Mrs. Campbell was nice enough to share her opinions with us.
We asked her why she thought this issue was so controversial. She told us “From just being on the committee I understand there has been a number of dates, we are definitely aware that the Thanksgiving idea is popular among the post-secondary schools, so we brought that up in terms of a committee school wide. A vote was done in order to support the event and why it ended up on the November 3rd. I am aware its controversial in terms of students having the financial needs to get back and also controversial for the staff to be able to support the event, and decide an appropriate date.”
As for her personal opinion on when the date should be, she shared with us “Good question, it’s tricky. Being on the committee myself, I can see both sides 100%. It wasn’t that long ago that I was a university student, (like) returning to my school as well as I can definitely relate to why October is a favourable date. Having been a part of the commencement committee for several years I can see why we need the staff support that we do to run the event, otherwise, it wouldn’t be successful. [We need] people to run the gowns, collect money, to usher you guys in, to make sure everything runs smoothly, and all the speeches and all that needs a ton of support staff behind it. Majority of staff in the building are working behind the scenes to support commencement some way or another so I can see why it stayed that date for now. I can tell you there’s been discussion about what the future holds.”
We wanted to hear some views from our graduates, so we interviewed Abby, W. She shared with us “I plan on staying close to home, hopefully, Laurier or Waterloo. I think that it’s stupid because people who are going away for [postsecondary] school, it’s really hard for them to come back. If they are really far it costs money and it’s just a waste of time, to come so far. I think we should do it in the beginning of July because June is really busy, and that would mean that people are hopefully still in town.”
We spoke with Nike, A. She told us “I plan on going away, I really don’t want to stay in this city. For schools in Ontario, at the very least it would probably be McMaster, Western, London or Hamilton. Otherwise for track I might be going to the States. I just think it’s at a really awkward time, students will be well into post secondary studies, so to have it right in the middle of November, that’s just dumb.”
Overall, graduating students of 2018, agree commencement should be at the end of the school year. It is way too difficult for everyone to make it back. Commencement dates should be taken into consideration carefully and the students should be thought of as a big part of this decision. We know the staff plays a big role in commencement, but so do the students. Everyone graduating should be reasonably able to make it there, since it is a big step in our lives.