Many students aren’t happy about graduation ceremony being moved to parking lot

A graduation ceremony is an epitome moment to celebrate your academic achievements with friends and family. You look forward for a memorable and beautiful ceremony which is traditionally located in RHC’s soccer field. Until recently, last minute announcements were made public that due to construction in the soccer field, this year’s ceremony is relocated on top of the hill in the student parking lot A.

Class of 2015 graduates are flabbergasted! RHC is not rewarding them with a honorable graduation ceremony. Luis M. Rodriguez has previously graduated from the Police Academy, was president of the Creative Writing Club and was recently given the Outstanding Student Award. Rodriguez will be graduating from Administration Justice and is not thrilled about the location change. “With so many beautiful places on this campus that can actually house the amount of people that are going to show up – they chose parking lot A. That’s ridiculous. It’s nice to know that in the history of Rio Hondo and their traditions, I’m going to be the only class that graduates in a parking lot.”

Evidently, in the photo attached to this article, this will be an absurd ceremony. Imagine the glorious exposed parking lines, vertical parking meters, daunting black ground, brown weed grown hills, and decorative electrical wiring hanging above this event. Not only is this scenery appalling, the parking lot itself doesn’t serve treasured memories well. Gloria Aguirre who is also graduating with a General and Social Sciences degree, expresses her view, “All this time in college, we’ve spent countless hours looking for a parking spot in the school’s parking lot. Great, now that’s where I am going to be graduating!”

An obvious pitfall is RHC’s inability to schedule construction of the soccer field at a convenient time for graduates to have their ceremony there alike past graduate classes. Though Sandy Sandello, who is the Executive Assistant to the President and Board of Trustees of RHC, explained that the school tried to find a solution by setting the location in South El Monte’s high school football field. However when they announced the planned location in a monthly Board of Trustees meeting in March, the student body (consisting about 1% of students) expressed that the ceremony would feel as if they are graduating from high school. Thus they requested the ceremony to take place in a college campus.

This created a conflict for the reason that surrounding locations do not offer enough housing space for the sizable amount of graduate students, therefore the school had no choice but to choose student parking lot A. All this time and trouble would have been saved if organized scheduling of the construction or landscaping work of the soccer field was made properly. Also, this decision should have been a public announcement sent in March to everyone’s email. This way graduates could have been a part of this decision making process, too. Not just inclusive of the student body.

Sandello attempted to sugarcoat the parking lot graduation as a means to look at this from a positive light. “We’re not the only college that had held their graduation in a parking lot. Several colleges do. You’re not going to know it looks like a parking lot. It’s going to look nice”. Apparently, if many others do the same action, it all becomes acceptable for others to do so. But, graduates will not be fooled. They know they deserve better than this and treated equally as other graduate classes.

Nonetheless, graduates of 2015, congratulations! This is your moment, embrace this and overlook the location of this ceremony. Honor yourselves and each other for all your accomplishments thus far.