Assayer of Student Opinion.

The Prospector

Assayer of Student Opinion.

The Prospector

Assayer of Student Opinion.

The Prospector

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Centennial tassle not worth the hassle

With it being only 29 days away from UTEP beginning its 100-year celebration, the university is getting ready to send out yet another graduating class in less than 10 days. As they walk down the stage on Dec. 14 to receive their diploma, however, they may feel they will be missing out on next year’s celebrations filled with centennial lectures, projects and the exciting UTEP campus transformation.

“I feel that graduating before the centennial happens is an unfortunate thing,” said sophomore business major Oscar Casanova. “The university only gets to turn 100 years old one time, and therefore it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for students to be part of this celebration.”

A misconception some students may have is that graduating during the centennial will be different from other commencement ceremonies prior to theirs, but according to Gary Edens Vice President of Student Affairs, the centennial graduations will be unique, but nothing out of the ordinary.

“Our priority is to make every graduation special,” Edens said. “However, for the centennial graduations, we may have a special medallion for the year, but other than the design and the president saying a few more remarks, there is nothing special planned for the graduates of 2014.”

With the centennial graduations still months away, nothing is exactly set in stone. Frank Montes de Oca, assistant director of University Relations, said that organizations are still discussing plans so nothing is quite official.

“When we celebrated a 100,000 degrees a few years back, all the candidates received their medallion as a gift through university funding. It is possible that something along those lines might be offered this year as well,” Montes said. “Some of the things are still in the planning stage. We are trying to make it interesting, possibly even base it on a budget, but nothing too major.”

While graduating during the 100th anniversary will be special—in that it is the centennial–students should not wait to graduate until a particular time and it’s recommended that all students should graduate as soon as possible, Edens said.

“Graduation is a great thing, centennial or not.” Edens said. “If they graduate in December, it means that they’re out in the job force and they can get their lives started. I think students should graduate as fast as they can. Why would they wait? I tell every student that walks in, ‘we want you to graduate, don’t postpone it.’ Graduating from UTEP is the best thing that anyone can do.”

Casanova believes that being part of the centennial will help students create unity with the university, therefore bringing a sense of Miner pride.

“I guess I would like to graduate in spring 2014 to get started with my professional career,” Casanova said. “But on the bright side, I love that I’ll still be present while the university turns 100 years old.”

Despite there being nothing significant about graduating in spring or fall 2014, as of now, if students stay at the university for graduate school, they will still be able to participate in the future festivities being planned by the many committees of the university, along with witnessing and being part of the completion of construction.

“Working hard for it, so it will be a delight to graduate centennial or not,” said senior chemistry major Guillermo Jimenez. “I see it as a door for me to say goodbye to my past and hello to my future. I want to walk and honor all those who supported me to finish my education, whether it’s at a specific time or not.”

Amber Gomez may be reached at [email protected]

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Centennial tassle not worth the hassle