For the first time in recent memory, the College of Literature, Science and the Arts will hold an event for graduating seniors at the time of commencement in the spring.
Although details have not been finalized, LSA administrators and the LSA Student Government are looking to hold what they are calling a simple and classy event for graduates before they leave campus.
“Everyone feels like you graduate, your lease ends, and you’re done,” said Christine Schepeler, the LSA-SG external relations officer. “We’re looking to change that.”
Although individual LSA programs have hosted events, the college hasn’t held an event for the entire graduating class in at least the past 30 years. No one is aware of any graduation events before then, but this hasn’t been able to be confirmed.
“There has never been a College of LSA graduation event in the past because of its huge size,” Schepeler said. “It’s just more feasible for the other colleges than it is for us.”
Most other colleges at the University offer an event to commemorate graduation for students in addition to the University-wide commencement. For example, in recent years, the schools of engineering and nursing as well as the Ross School of Business have held their own commencement activities and other events like brunches and receptions with the deans around the time of graduation.
The LSA event was first supposed to take place last year. Before last year’s event was canceled, organizers discussed having a champagne toast on the Diag the last day of exams, including a toast from the dean and a faculty speaker, Schepeler said.
But the event started to fall apart in April as the event coordinators ran into more and more red tape prohibiting them from using the Diag.
“We were really upset,” Schepeler said. “We began working on this year’s event in the summer to make sure it happens.”
LSA-SG and administrators have been working together on this year’s event.
“It’s really been a joint effort between the student government and administration,” said Evan Hansen, director of marketing and communications for LSA. “Its really important to have the support of the student government and student body when planning an event like this.”
To incorporate student opinions into the process, LSA-SG posted a survey online earlier this fall. The survey asked LSA seniors what types of events they would like, where they would like the event to be held and how much the presence of food and alcohol at this event would affect their decision to attend.
LSA-SG and administration are now using the results of this survey to determine the specifics of this year’s event.
“It would be a great way to make students feel associated with LSA,” Schepeler said. “We feel we can make graduating more personal for students.”