University responds to GS Class Day concerns
The University issued a statement to Spectator on the subject of GS Class Day. It says that the inconvenience to GS students and their families is “regrettable,” but that moving the date for Class Day was “the only acceptable alternative.”
We sent some questions to University spokesperson Robert Hornsby, who replied with this statement. Read the full story by Madina Toure at the news desk.
We are proud that President Obama will return to our campus for Barnard’s graduation, but the resulting consequences for other class day ceremonies scheduled for that day have spawned some misinformation which we want to dispel. From the moment we learned of President Obama’s decision speak at Barnard, our goal has been to accommodate this historic visit without undue inconvenience to thousands of our graduates and their families attending other Commencement week events. The University aggressively and thoroughly explored numerous scheduling and logistical options for achieving this objective with Barnard, General Studies and Engineering—the three schools with ceremonies that had all been scheduled on the same South Lawn location, one after another, on the same day. As Dean Awn has clearly stated, the option of moving the General Studies Class Day ceremony to a different campus site Monday morning while the main core of campus was rendered largely inaccessible would likely have been deeply problematic for graduates and their families.
Keep reading the full statement after the jump.
Given these serious constraints, a collaborative decision was made that the only acceptable alternative that would best fulfill the tradition of Columbia’s graduation for General Studies was to reschedule the ceremony on the previous day on Low Plaza. We find the resulting inconvenience to graduating General Studies students and their families deeply regrettable, and we are committed to helping ensure that they do not have to bear the financial cost of this change in order to accommodate the unique aspects of presidential logistics for Barnard’s ceremony. The GS Class Day ceremony now scheduled for May 13 should only be about the exceptional achievement of the graduates, and we are doing everything in our power to ensure that that will be the case.
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