Seniors to have limited Graduation Tickets

Seniors to have limited Graduation Tickets

Autumn Przybyla, Print Editor-in-Chief

The Class Of 2021 is set to have an outside Graduation at Funderburg Stadium on May 22 with two guests per senior; if weather does not permit, there will be an inside ceremony in the PAC on May 23 with one guest per graduate.

There are approximately 250 students in the senior class, meaning that there will be about 500 total tickets available for Graduates. However, according to Athletic Director Mr. Josh Sternquist, the COVID modified capacity for Funderburg Stadium is 730 spectators in the stands. Although there will be staff and other board members present, I would imagine that they would have to be on the actual field, and would not have to be counted in the 730 spectator limit, as that is the limit for amount of people in the stands.

Based off of this capacity, giving all of the possible tickets to seniors and their families would allow for almost one more ticket per senior. With this being said, there could easily be more tickets made available to graduates, as there will be a track surrounding the ceremony; there could easily be chairs or even bleachers from the soccer fields put on the track for seniors to at least have two more tickets for their family to see the moment that we have been waiting for our whole lives. Honestly, we could even go as bare as having families bring their own lawn chairs to set up, with social distance markings and procedures in place or allowing more guests to stand alongside the fences.

With the two ticket limit, I would imagine that most graduates will have their parents as their guests. However, in the event that our graduation will have to be in the PAC and limited to one ticket, seniors will have to make the hard decision of choosing which parent, guardian, etc. will be the lucky winner for seeing the tradition of their child walking the stage to receive their High School Diploma. Furthermore, I believe that in a normal year, receiving five tickets can even be hard to accommodate for all families, as students with split families might have somewhere around 15 people that would love to go. Ultimately, I believe it will be very hard for seniors to distribute their tickets in deciding who has the privilege of coming.

I understand that space is an issue and we are definitely still in the midst of a global pandemic, but I just believe that there should be some leniency and sympathy going into the planning of such a large, earned event. Furthermore, this capacity does not make much sense, as the Homecoming Pep Rally is to be held outside, at the same exact stadium, during the school day, with 700 in-person students that will be in attendance, plus faculty and possibly remote students. I believe that I can accurately speak for the senior class in saying that we would much rather have 700 guests at our High School Graduation, than at a Homecoming Pep Rally – we only have our H.S. Graduation once in our lives, and we have experienced three pep rallies.

Although I am grateful that we are having an in-person Graduation, Class of 2021 has had a senior year filled with nothing but limits and cancellations, when this is supposed to be our best year yet, with Homecoming, Prom, Graduation, leading the student section, being able to attend indoor sporting events, and so much more. So, I think that with our whole senior year being not anywhere near normal, it really sucks that our Graduation is limited as well.