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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Sacramento State Students Challenge “CARmencement” with Petition

Some Sacramento State students are demanding the university to allow graduates to walk across a stage for their commencement following what they considered a misleading “CARmencement” proposal.

Sac State sent out surveys in December polling its seniors on three possible options for their upcoming commencement, one of which was a “CARmencement” with attendance to be held via cars. According to Sophie Esquivel, a child development major expected to graduate this Spring, the university’s survey misled students to believe this car commencement ceremony would still allow the graduates to walk across a stage.

The petition, which reached nearly 1,000 signatures Wednesday, garnered the attention of the school’s chief of staff, who acknowledged the students’ concerns but relented to growing concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students and their family turned to social media and the petition’s comment section, suggesting the “CARmencement” neglects larger families that can not fit in one car and families that do not own a car. 

Opponents of the university’s car commencement pointed to other colleges in California that are expected to hold in-person ceremonies. California State University, Fullerton and San Diego State University are among a handful of schools to announce in-person commencements this Spring.

Institutions like Northwestern University are holding hybrid events for commencement including smaller in-person ceremonies for each of its schools individually. Northwestern will also be inviting back its class of 2020 to be recognized in person following its virtual graduation last Spring.

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