For the last few years it has been proposed that Keene State College end the tradition of giving the graduating class commencement hoods as part of their graduation regalia.
Last year, The Equinox published many articles regarding regalia hoods given to Keene State College seniors for their graduation. This year, President Melinda Treadwell has suggested to the student assembly that they consider handing out medallions instead.
As a senior of the class of 2019, I feel comfortable saying my drive to graduate has little to nothing to do with what I wear or how I look on graduation day. My motivation to graduate, as well as my drive to go to college in the first place, is to better myself and have more opportunities than I did before I came to Keene State College.
In addition, it’s important to note the financial difference between regalia hoods and medallions. Last year The Equinox reported that it would cost $35,000 to purchase the hoods. Vice President for Finance and Administration Susan LaPanne did not specify a number for the medallions but did say they would be much cheaper. With the tuition being increased, admission rates going down and club budgets being slashed, the cheaper option makes sense across the board. Financial reasons notwithstanding, the tradition of wearing a hood during graduation is one usually recognized by grad schools.
This tradition of giving seniors at KSC hoods doesn’t make sense for this reason because if someone goes to grad school, they will be wearing their grad school hood not their KSC one, and because they will have gotten their grad school hood they will never wear the KSC one. Anyone who doesn’t go to grad school still probably won’t wear their graduation gown again, so for them it also makes little sense to give them such an adornment. Medallions, however, can be kept as a nice keepsake that’s easy to store away or display.
On top of that, upon hearing there might be controversy regarding this issue, the senior class representatives present during the assembly made a point of order saying they didn’t know what the hoods actually were.
With that in mind, it is more frugal, convenient and frankly more appropriate to receive a medallion rather than a hood. I will be present on the day of graduation to walk down the procession with my classmates and shake hands with President Melinda Treadwell in recognition of my hard work and accomplishment. Whether I am there with my hood, robe or cap means very little to me.
Sebastien Mehegan can be contacted