To the Daily:

‘U’ abandons tradition

I have been involved in the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club for the past four years. If you have ever been to one of our concerts, you would know that, at the end of each performance, we sing “Michigan Songs,” hailing the University’s greatness and long-standing traditions.

When I was accepted to the University, I thought I might be attending a school that respected these traditions. Commencement is the grand finale of many students’ four years of hard work, late nights, new friends and college memories. It was supposed to take place in the Big House – and now it won’t. Why? Luxury boxes.

Since the idea of these special seats for rich and well-known alumni was presented, it has been surrounded by conflict and frustration by those of us who see no reason to fix something that isn’t broken. Not only will the luxury boxes ruin the football experience at the Big House but they also will ruin the event that marks the end of my time in Ann Arbor.

Thank you very much, University of Michigan. You’ve just made my four years of singing your greatness a lie.

If the University is concerned about its reputation and the happiness of its students and their families, it will find some way to hold graduation at the Big House in April.

Eric Portenga

LSA senior

Family will miss first and only trip to Big House

I am writing to express my profound disappointment in the University of Michigan’s decision to hold this year’s spring commencement at Eastern Michigan University instead of at our beloved Michigan Stadium. The already unpopular renovations being made to the stadium are the reason being given for depriving the class of 2008 its privilege of graduating at the University. Not only is the $226-million project creating a classist separatism in the Big House by adding luxury seating, which is contradictory to Michigan tradition, this unnecessary construction is not being adjusted to accommodate this year’s graduating class.

This decision will affect thousands of graduating students and has already affected me greatly. I am the first in my family to graduate from college. My commencement is not just an accomplishment for me – it is one I have been looking forward to sharing with my family. Although my family has been Michigan fans for generations, none of it has been able to visit the Big House. For four years I have anticipated the opportunity to share the school, the campus and the stadium I love with my family at commencement. Unfortunately, I have to break the news that commencement will not be held at the Big House, the University or even in Ann Arbor.

It is incomprehensible to me that the University doesn’t view providing its students with the graduation they deserve as an obligation. After spending more than $100,000 during the last four years and countless hours of studying, my previously unwavering trust in the University have now been irreparably damaged. All I can do now is hope that the outrage expressed by University students and alumni will be enough to convince the University to reconsider.

Leah Potvin

LSA senior

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