UB seniors are faced with the decision to walk in graduation ceremony

Some students find the ceremony to be an accomplishment, others are unable to walk


Ivory Sligh is counting down the weeks until she can finally walk across the stage at Alumni Arena.

After four years as an international studies major, the senior is all set to graduate on May 15, something she said shows her hard work.

While some students find walking across the stage at graduation to be a milestone, which represents everything they’ve done to earn a degree, others say preparing for the long ceremony is just a hassle.

Sligh said participating in commencement is a significant moment in her college career.

“It's important for me to walk because it symbolizes that I truly graduated from university. Also, it's a celebration for my family and friends to see,” Sligh said.

For larger ceremonies, seniors are given two to four tickets for family members to attend.

Sligh said only her close family members are attending her graduation due to the ticket limit.

Maya Barnard, a senior psychology major, said she thinks walking at graduation is symbolic and commemorates the accomplishments she’s made while at UB. She said while the actual degree is what signifies her graduating, walking at commencement is “a public display of making it.”

Like Sligh and Barnard, Arielle Mendelson, a senior psychology major, said she’s excited to walk at graduation.

“I want to show off how proud I am about how far I have come academically,” Mendelson said. “It's important to me because my family will be there and they really want to watch me finish one chapter in my life and begin another.”

The next step for Mendelson is graduate school, she said.

However, not all students plan to walk at commencement.

Jackie Edwards, an African American studies, biomedical sciences and political science major will not be walking in her graduation, which is set to take place in December.

Edwards was supposed to walk this semester, but an error in UB’s HUB system prevented her from being able to graduate with her political science degree.

“I do view getting your Bachelor’s as an accomplishment, and I would like to walk, but I don't think it’s worth having to deal with borders and trying to come back here just for walking,” Edwards said.

Edwards said she plans on getting her masters or Ph.D. so she will walk in that graduation.

Edwards said that although her parents are upset, but they understand her choice.

"I promised them that I would walk at some point in my career, and they said that's good enough,” she said.

Sarah Drozda is a news staff writer and can be reached at news@ubspectrum.com