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Monday, August 2, 2021

Letters to the editor

If you are planning to graduate in 2011 (or after), we’d like to hear from you regarding what features of the UC Davis graduation ceremony are important to you.

No major changes are afoot for this spring, where roughly 4,600 undergraduates will participate in six undergraduate ceremonies at the Pavilion in June. Campus practice has been to hold ceremonies according to what college you are in. (E.g. pPsychology majors participate in one of the College of Letters and Sciences ceremonies, civil engineers participate in the engineering ceremony, managerial economics majors participate in one of the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences ceremonies and genetics majors participate in the College of Biological Sciences ceremony.)

All of the ceremonies include a student speaker and some include another invited speaker, often a successful UC Davis alum. All of the present ceremonies are highlighted by graduating seniors walking across the stage with other students in their major to receive a certificate and shake hands with campus dignitaries such as the college dean, the provost or the chancellor. The campus contracts with a photography company to capture each student’s walk across the stage. Most ceremonies are about two hours in length. Although all of the tickets for family members and guests are free, some graduates receive only a limited number of tickets depending on their ceremonies.

So what are our options? Well, in the early 1990s when the campus was growing rapidly, the administration considered renting Arco Arena. That way, all undergraduate students could graduate together in one or maybe two big ceremonies and still have greater access for tickets. But at that time, students wanted to continue to have the ceremony on campus. As we confront a time when tickets are again scarce and ceremonies are packed, should we revisit that option? We have completed Aggie Stadium since the last time we looked comprehensively at the ceremonies. Should we take a chance that the June temperatures will cooperate and hold a larger ceremony or ceremonies in the stadium? Perhaps in the early morning or evening? Or do we stay with current practice?

Let us know your thoughts by sending an e-mail to graduationceremonies@ucdavis.edu. Do you like the idea of graduating with all of the members of the class of 2011 (or 2012 or 20 13)? Would the presence of a high profile celebrity speaker enhance the ceremony for you and your family? How important is it to you to walk across the stage and shake the hands of campus dignitaries? Would you prefer The Pavilion, Aggie Stadium or Arco Arena?

We look forward to hearing from you. We want to make commencement one of your most cherished UC Davis experiences.

PATRICIA A. TURNER

Vice Provost

Undergraduate Studies

Headline: Israel is not an apartheid state

Dear Editor,

In The California Aggie’s Feb. 2nd article “Petition circulates to boycott Israeli goods,” Geoffrey Wildanger, president of the Students for Justice in Palestine, gave a quote that insinuated that Israel is an apartheid state.

South Africa’s apartheid policies constituted an institutionalized system of racial discrimination and segregation wholly incomparable to the situation in Israel. Apartheid created a legal framework through which a minority could govern and disenfranchise a minority. In Israel, a majority-rule democracy, all Israeli citizens – including Arab Israelis – can vote. The Palestinian-elected Palestinian Authority governs the West Bank and Gaza.

As a Jew, whenever I hear about the “holocaust of the rainforest” or the “holocaust of the Native Americans,” I can’t help but feel that using the term “holocaust” to describe anything other than the Nazis’ systematic murder of six million European Jews somehow diminishes the suffering my people endured. I hope South Africans – especially those who dealt with apartheid’s cruelty and brutality – would similarly object to the spurious, insensitive use of a term that describes the unique affliction and hardship experienced by their people.

We cannot reduce the Arab-Israeli conflict’s complexity to a sound bite or boycott; it proliferates misconceptions, fuels discord and prolongs peace.

Most sincerely,

AARON SHERMAN

Senior, International Relations

Headline: Response to the ‘Rise of the Girly Men’ editorial

Dear Editor,

I was very appreciative and impressed with your editorial in Tuesday’s Aggie. I really appreciate your openness at the meeting you attended last week during Beyond the Binary and the steps you have taken since.

I believe the editorial will go a long way with the community. Even more than that, it models a very productive way to handle criticism, take responsibility and make changes that many on this campus will benefit from.

Thanks,

SHERI ATKINSON

Director

Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center

3 COMMENTS

  1. Sorry to be a spoiler, but I hate the idea of one big “glom” of a graduation session. Experienced that at CSUS and it was terrible. Over 2,000 grads in one ceremony–my family had to sit for HOURS. Much prefer the smaller, school-based sessions as they are more intimate for the graduate and easier on the guests.

  2. I love the idea of merging the master’s and PhD students (graduate students) into one ceremony. Having a high profile speaker is much more memorable than walking across the stage having your name read and shaking hands with dignitaries. I vote on having the ceremony held at Arco or Aggie Stadium, not the Pavilion.

  3. While attending games in our new stadium, I find that the temperatures are so hot in the summer and have actually saw students passing out.

    Not a good idea to hold commencement in the new stadium.

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