Administration should have consulted students when making commencement decision

Marco Roccato

Contributing Writer

The Class of 2020 has been and is a group of incredible people. Students from the Class of 2020 have been scholars and community leaders: they created unique research projects, they led student organizations through years of changes, they stuck with an institution whose tuition hikes made it harder and harder for them and their families to afford it. Through all of it, most importantly, they loved the College of Wooster. And sure, they got bored after the fifth trip of the week to Walmart (remember those?), but they gave everything to this college community — inside and outside of the classroom. 

Would you like to know how many members of the Class of 2020 were asked to contribute any feedback before a decision about our commencement was made? Zero. Would you like to know how many members of the Class of 2020 will be asked by the Alumni Office for contributions in a few months? All of them. Let me be clear, I don’t expect the Class of 2020 to be the one that solely gets to pick a date for a future commencement and to plan all of the festivities. But I had at least hoped that the administration would have reached out to us for some kind of feedback. A Google Form, a quick email, a Facebook poll. Nothing, niente, nada. Rather than being proactive and at least showing an effort in collecting ideas from us, we simply received an email detailing the plans that were decided for us. We could have happily waited for more information, waiting for this whole situation to be a thing of the past — yet a decision was made now without consulting us and then it was just shared with us. The result? Around 500 angry and disappointed Fighting Scots and soon-to-be-Alumni. 

I fully understand that our administration is rightfully overwhelmed with the daily developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and I do truly appreciate how well they’ve been operating on most sides of things, especially as someone stuck on campus at the moment. I have my own gripes with an October graduation, but that is not what I want to focus on in this brief article. The biggest disappointment is how our opinion was not even requested at any point. This was a rushed decision-making process for a school that prides itself on valuing its students’ opinions. It took us long enough to get used to the idea of a Scot Center graduation, and now we have something else to get over. The Class of 2020 is the 150th class to attend and graduate from the College of Wooster. We have made a lasting impact on this beautiful community. We deserved to have our opinion heard. The final decision does belong to the cabinet, but I truly wish that someone at some point would have reached out for some input. I love Wooster and I love the people of Wooster; I always will. I just do not want this to become a bitter epilogue to a beautiful story.