Seniors procrastinating getting their graduation regalia could be in for a treat as the University of Michigan Central Student Government distributes free graduation gowns to students graduating in Fall 2022. The program aims to alleviate the financial stress associated with purchasing the garb.
The program was launched in 2018. This year the gowns will be distributed at Barnes and Noble locations at the Michigan Union and Pierpont Commons.
CSG purchased gowns from Barnes & Noble and collected alumni’s used graduation gowns for this program from drop-off stations located across campus.
The program distributed gowns on Nov. 3 and Nov. 17. Students can currently still grab gowns at the CSG office in the Michigan Union.
LSA sophomore Bipasha Ray, CSG’s chief programming officer, has been managing this year’s program. She said CSG wants to reduce the burden of graduation for students.
“(Having to purchase gowns is) really just a cost barrier for no reason,” Ray said. “This program is to help alleviate that. There are so many costs and things that people have to worry about when they’re graduating, and gowns shouldn’t be one of them, and so we’re trying to bridge that gap.”
Ray said she hopes the future editions of the program will allow students to pick up gowns at their convenience, rather than having specified distribution dates. She said this would allow more students to take advantage of the program.
“Instead of distribution dates like (the ones this year), if (CSG) were able to have people come pick them up as they wanted to instead of having two major dates, I feel like it would be more convenient for (students),” Ray said.
Rackham student Xuechen Liu received a gown from the program and said she appreciated how the program increases sustainability.
“I think (this program) is great because we can reuse the gowns,” Liu said. “After my graduation, I will not need mine in the future and can return it for someone else to use.”
LSA senior James Tran said it was a relief to have this task off his plate amid all of the other concerns surrounding graduation, including searching for jobs. He said the program reflects the caring nature of the student community.
“It’s a small reminder that we’re still a big old family,” Tran said. “It’s kind of nice to have that assistance from people you’ve probably never interacted with.”
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