By Adam Bradlow '11
Recently it dawned on me that one day, I might actually graduate—and should probably start making arrangements for graduation ceremonies. I assumed that Princeton—the family-friendly University that it is—would supply more than enough tickets for all my family members. Wrong. For Commencement Day, the ‘actual’ graduation ceremony, each senior gets a total of five tickets—which spells trouble for those of us who are fortunate enough to have a number of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who would like to attend. For those of you who have not started looking into graduation details, it turns out that graduation is actually a three-day event at Princeton: first is baccalaureate, followed by class day, and Commencement is the final day. Unfortunately, tickets are in short supply at all of these events: seniors get two tickets for the first day, four for the second, and five for the third.
Associate Dean of Undergraduate Students Thomas Dunne explained to me in an e-mail that, “The number of tickets is determined by the size of the sites/venues. In most if not all cases we have maximized the seating at all the traditional locations. There are standing room locations at many of these events (outside the fence on walkways at the Cannon Green site for example). Also, once the ceremony starts we work to seat any guests who may not have tickets but could fill an empty seat.”
I trust Dean Dunne when he says that there simply isn’t any room—I’m sure that the University is working as hard as possible to maximize the number of tickets per senior. But, there simply aren’t enough tickets for many students. One solution might be to move the venue. If I have to choose between not allowing family members at my graduation and holding the ceremonies at the less-than-spectacular Princeton Stadium, I’d choose the latter.
Another solution might be to set up an official ‘ticket-exchange’ between the senior class. Many seniors—particularly those with international families—will not need all of their tickets and would probably happily give their tickets away. Unfortunately, there is currently no easy way for ticket-needy seniors to identify less needy ones. And, on that note, let me end by saying that I am definitely a ticket-needy senior. If you have some extra tickets, drop me a line.