A petition decorated the Door of Discussion for expected December graduates to sign.
Photo: Kayla Landrum (photo editor)

Picture this scenario: Your parents ended up divorcing when you and your younger brother and sister were children. Four tickets. They happily remarried other people, and each had one child each. Four more tickets. Your only living grandmother, who has helped you financially, would like to see you get your diploma. One more ticket. Lastly, you have a fiancé who has been your emotional support throughout your time at APU. One more ticket, a total of 10.

Now, it’s understandable that the Azusa Pacific ticket system was created because it helps all the commencements (especially the December one, since it’s held in the Felix Event Center) run smoothly, but the sad thing about this ticket system is that December graduates are only receiving four tickets instead of the usual 10.

As an upcoming December grad who has attended past commencements, I do admit that having tickets makes the ceremony look a lot more organized and enjoyable. But I, like many of my fellow grads, find it a little unfair that we are not receiving as many tickets as May and July grads. Are we not at as important as the other graduates?

“I understand that since there are less graduates we need to rent out a smaller facility,” said senior Christian ministries major Adrianna Ford. “However, that does not mean that we have less family members who are proud of us and want to celebrate with us. I have family coming from Texas who are so happy for me, they told me they will just wait outside until the ceremony is done because I don’t have enough tickets. I don’t want that for them, I want them inside celebrating with the rest of my family.”

There are a few simple solutions to this ticket debacle. There can be live streamings in some of the Duke classrooms specifically for students who want to see their friends graduate without having to reserve a ticket. The ceremony could also be scheduled at a larger venue, such as Cougar Stadium, as senior biochemistry major Greg Hansen suggested.

“That way those of us who alone have more than four siblings could at least have our whole immediate family there watch us walk across the stage,” Hansen said.

Apart from immediate family members, there are the best friends since freshman year, on-campus bosses and roommates who won’t be able to see these graduates walk. Even May graduates like accounting major Jaymie Horak agree with our frustrations and are voicing opinions on this unfair ticket situation.

“I always think about the huge families who sacrificed so much to send their child to a private, religious university not being able to attend the graduation. It makes me feel sick,” Horak said.

So you see, not only are those graduating in December fighting for their right to get their full 10 tickets, but those graduating in May agree that this problem is simply outrageous.

Is it fair to rob people of the chance to see a son, daughter, brother, sister, best friend or fiancé have an expensive, hard-earned diploma handed to them by President Jon Wallace?