President Melinda Treadwell and student government are looking to change a tradition that was put in place for Keene State College’s 75th institutional birthday. The idea to change the tradition of hoods being worn by undergraduates during graduation ceremonies has been brought up because of the cost of the hoods and how non-typical the tradition really is.
Coordinator of College Ceremonies and Events Rebecca Dixon proposed the idea to student government to use medallions instead of hoods at graduation. The medallions would cost less than the hoods.
“These medallions would be purchased by the college for our students at commencement. It’s about a third of the cost because the hoods are more expensive,” Treadwell said.
Although the hoods have been a long lasting tradition at KSC, President Treadwell said the medallions will hopefully be more meaningful to students after they graduate.
“Yes, it’s cost saving, but we hope it’ll be a tradition that’s even more meaningful. A medallion could be displayed in an office, in a car, whereas a commencement hood, not so much,” Treadwell said.
Vice President of the class of 2019 Allie Tolles said the decision the executive board made for their 2019 convocation was a decision that made the most sense financially. “The Class of 2019 Executive board has decided that neither will be used at the 2019 convocation because neither seemed appropriate nor a good use of funds. However, future classes can decide for themselves,” Tolle said.
The decision to have neither option at the 2019 convocation is a decision Robillard said most students won’t even notice. “Students probably will not care either way. Most schools don’t do either and we doubt that students will notice. We think that those students who want to wear something to distinguish themselves have done impressive work within their academics and on campus over the past four years. Those students who have earned those distinctions will stand out even more now,” Robillard said.
President of the class of 2019 Briae Robillard said hoods and medallions have different meanings, but ultimately don’t hold much importance because most schools don’t use either.
“The hoods represent master graduates and not undergraduates. Medallions can be worn for student’s undergraduate and future ceremonies, but they typically represent those who receive some kind of outstanding academic award or recognition,” Robillard said.
President Treadwell said the proposal for change was caused by the cost of the hoods and the idea of possibly saving money, but if students don’t want to make the change, the college would work with them to figure it out, “It’s really from a philosophical perspective of, ‘Does it make sense for us to have something in our regalia that’s totally out of the norm?’ If students want it, we’re gonna find a way to try and do it. But my hope is that we can talk about this and see if there’s another way to signify it.”
Before any change was made, President Treadwell said student feedback was important to hear because this decision was something that would affect all students.
“We can’t just cut it from the budget, let’s talk with students. The reason it was cut is because it’s such an atypical activity for a college to have hoods, number one, that we would buy, number two, at the undergrad level it’s not normal regalia,” Treadwell said.
Emily Carstensen can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org