White Gown Tradition Removed from 2018 Graduation Ceremony

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Yacob Reyes, Staff Writer

Today at Senior Orientation it was announced that seniors with a weighted Grade Point Average of 4.0 or higher  would no longer be graduating in a white cap and gown.

The tradition of graduating in white has served as a symbol of academic achievement and dedication among students who would graduate as honors students, and its removal has generated negative responses from the student body as well as parents.

The reason behind the revocation of this tradition is cited as an attempt to maintain equality.

“I do not know specifics, but I do know they were seeking unity and equity,” said Senior Class President Gia Reyes on the matter.

According to other members of the senate the school board issued this change as an attempt to make the graduating class appear undivided, as well as to avoid discrimination against those who didn’t make the cut.

“It made graduation seem like it was separate, the way the colors sat in separate areas, so I think that the change should help create unity within the graduating class,” said Senior Class Treasurer Cici Killeen.

Other students, however, don’t believe awarding students with the honor of wearing white should be considered discriminatory to those in blue.

“I think the decision they’re making to change graduation traditions isn’t reasonable. Those who earn the opportunity to graduate in white shouldn’t be deprived from that achievement,” said junior Luciana Denegri. “Graduating in white symbolizes the hard work put into the years spent in school to be put in that category. It shouldn’t be considered “discrimination”, as everyone has the opportunity and resources to graduate in that category.”

To some, this change may seem rather insignificant, but to those who’ve worked diligently to achieve their goal of wearing white, the news has been rather upsetting.

“I would very much like to see this overturned, and I know I speak for a lot of the senior class of 2018 when I say that. The majority of us feel very betrayed and upset by this decision, and feel as if our hard work isn’t being properly recognized,” said senior Jill Dowden.

Despite the changes to graduation attire, some students are still optimistic about the ceremony dress. “I think that it will still look good without the white, and we still get the honor cords so we will still be honored for having over a 4.0 [GPA],” said Killeen.

Some students dissatisfied with the changes do not believe that honor cords offer the same recognition as the white cap and gown and find them contradictory to the reasoning behind this change.  

“I don’t believe it holds the same merit. It’s not as noticeable, you’re still separating honors from non-honors. So, I see no point in taking away the gowns,” said Dowden.

During today’s assembly, Senior Class Officers modeled the new graduation gown options. The new style would be a solid color gown with an accent color around the sleeves. Students can choose what gown they would like to see by voting at tinyurl.com/ghsgowns.com