College identity taken away
I was recently informed of the decision to consolidate graduation ceremonies of the Class of 2010. As a Rutgers College student, this decision came as a surprise to me. I elected to remain a part of this individual college during the consolidation into the School of Arts and Sciences for the following years.
I feel as if this takes away an important part of my Rutgers College identity. As a freshman, I walked through the Old Queen's Gates with my classmates and felt as if I was connected to my peers through tradition. I was still connected to Rutgers, but I was also a part of something smaller.
A few years ago, I saw my brother graduate from Rutgers College. He walked through those same gates. My family was there to cheer as his name was called and he received his diploma from the University he loved. He broke the ceremonial pipe and planted the ivy all to represent the passage of undergraduate years and the ties to the University.
By claiming the new graduation ceremonies unite the separate colleges, you are taking away from our individual traditions and ceremonies. I have always wanted to graduate on Voorhees Mall on the College Avenue campus. I wanted my family to be there with me. I feel as though my classmates from Rutgers College, Livingston College, University College and the School of Arts and Sciences should receive the same treatment that Cook College, Douglass College and the professional colleges are receiving. This decision has created unrest in the final classes.
We are already united as classmates. I take classes with individuals from every walk of the University's path. We recognize that we are all a part of the Class of 2010, but we are from different colleges.
I once defended this institution. I understand that the University has endured difficult times, but give us one last opportunity to graduate the way we had always believed we would. We will leave much happier and with a much better memory of this University.
Erika Page is a Rutgers College junior majoring in exercise science and sport studies.