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“AGAINST THE COMBINED GRADUATION”

Dear Editor,
 
As a graduate of 2014, I strongly disagree with the idea of having a combined graduation. This is not because I'm against the fact that the Director of DOE is trying to promote unity, but it's because of the many negative possibilities. A combined graduation can lead to serious traffic, violence, no place to celebrate, it can ruin the tradition of graduation, and a lot more.
 
There are many graduates from each high school. Putting them all together to have one graduation can create traffic because of the many supporters. The roads will be extremely busy and the Stadium's parking lot won't be enough.
 
A unified graduation without violence is never guaranteed. No matter how many cops will be there, there is a possibility that someone can start a fight. People think and act on their own. After graduation, it is common that families celebrate right after. If every graduation happened in one day, some families wouldn't know where to go because almost every place will be crowded.
 
Every high school has their own tradition of graduation. It will be hard to agree on a final program with all the different traditions and disagreements. One of the important parts of graduation is the graduates receiving their diploma. Hearing their names being called and walking up to get their diploma while wearing their cap and gown can be such a memorable moment. If this unified graduation was to happen, what will happen to this moment? If we still did it, it will take hours to call on every student one by one. Taking this moment away from us ruins everything. This is the moment we strived for.
 
If people agree with this idea because it saves them gas, time, and money, then please think about the GRADUATES. This day wasn't made for anyone else but the graduates. Make the effort to do what we want because we strived for this day. We made sure we had a passing grade all eight semesters, for every class we took.
 
Every graduate wants to go up wearing their cap and gown to receive their diploma, families want to wish them well right after graduation, and people don't look forward to getting stuck in traffic for the longest time.
 
I kindly ask with all due respect, if we can please continue with the old routine of graduations.
 
Graduation is an event students look forward to. We want to have our graduation on our school campus; get a last glimpse of the school where our process of striving started from. Many of us students disagree with this idea. Please don't ignore us or mute our voices. Consider that we are the future of American Samoa. 
 
Nerisa Taua



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