Limit on graduation tickets unsatisfactory, disgraceful

There are less than two months until graduation. For me and the other Mercyhurst University graduates of 2012, this is an exciting time that deserves celebration. I especially look forward to my family coming in May to watch me graduate with a bachelor’s degree.

Well, I was excited for this until Mercyhurst President Thomas Gamble, Ph.D., sent an email during spring break to all graduating seniors informing us that students will receive only four tickets for graduation. The limit on guests is due to graduation taking place at the Bayfront Convention Center. The usual location, Tullio Arena, is being renovated.

The construction plans have been in the works since 2010, but students were informed of the changes less than 100 days before graduation.This delay in communication and limited number of guests creates problems.

For instance, my grandparents from Florida have already made travel arrangements to come watch me graduate. Too bad I have two parents, four grandparents and a sister, but only four tickets. Looks like someone will be left behind on my big day.

Gamble offered a “solution” to this issue in his email.

According to the email, “There will be additional seating in a nearby room equipped with big screen TVs. Seating in this venue is available on a first-come, first-served basis.” I’m glad my grandparents will travel from Florida to possibly get the chance to watch me graduate on a TV, that is, if the room doesn’t fill up first.

Gamble had another “solution” for students needing more tickets, but yet again failed to satisfy many disgruntled students.The email said, “Each senior will only get four tickets, but some students may not need all of them. These students are encouraged to share their extra tickets with those needing more.”

That sounds like a wonderful solution, but every senior I have talked to needs more than four tickets.

The majority of students have parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and significant others they want to celebrate this occasion with. The need for more tickets is so great that some seniors have already offered to pay for graduation tickets.

We only get one college graduation. After four years of hard work and tens of thousands of dollars spent, it’s a shame we cannot have all the people who supported us throughout our college experience watch us receive our degrees.

It’s an even bigger shame Mercyhurst failed to come up with a better plan for graduation. With less than 100 days to go, let the scrambling for tickets and the salvaging of a respectable Mercyhurst graduation begin.