John Jay College graduation change causes controversy

March 14, 2013 2:24:04 PM PDT
There is controversy over John Jay College's decision to change its graduation ceremony.

The school says it no longer plans to call students names individually and have them walk across the stage.

It will make the ceremony shorter, but many students don't like that idea.

It was after last year's marathon graduation ceremony that administrators at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, decided to end the tradition of reading the name of each graduate, alphabetically, as they walked across the stage to receive their diploma.

"People were leaving during the ceremony and so the students at the beginning of the alphabet were having a much different experience than the students at the end of the alphabet," said Lynette Cook-Francis, V.P. Student Affairs.

The class of 2012 was polled after the ceremony, and Eyewitness News was told most of them agreed that the reading of the names should end with them.

In its place, administrators plan to have sections of graduates stand together in the various diploma groups.

There will be no more individual recognition.

"If students are going to be rude and leave, I'd rather not walk," said Cesar Irigoyen, a John Jay Senior.

"You spend four years, parents want to see you graduate," said Keith Owens, a John Jay Senior.

A website petition against changing the practice of reading each graduates name at the ceremony has been launched by students who consider it an issue of fairness.

But the petition drive has not gained momentum so far,