Tuesday, June 13, 2023

#164 / Slugged At Commencement!


I teach in the Legal Studies Program at UCSC, and as I mentioned in my blog post last Thursday, June 8th was my last day teaching during this Spring Quarter. What used to be called "Commencement" activities are just about to begin - but UCSC doesn't really call it "Commencement" anymore. What used to be called "Commencement" is now called "Slug Crossing." Here is a short video, trying to sell this concept to graduating students - and to their parents, friends, and loved ones. See what you think!

The students I have talked to don't much like what they consider to be a serious "downgrade" to the ceremonies that have traditionally accompanied college graduation. I must say that I am pretty much in agreement with those who have complained to me. Let me provide you with the critique below, authored by a longtime (now Emeritus) UCSC professor. Here is what he says about this "Slug Crossing" concept. Again, I'm in agreement:

Perhaps you've heard of the streamlined UCSC commencement, "Slug Crossing." Who needs those marching faculty and regalia, those boring speeches? Those quaint college rituals? That sticky community feeling that dilutes your personal moment with loved ones? "Slug Crossing" is more efficient: graduation boiled down to the essential photo op with an awesome backdrop. Once again, the extraordinary campus serves as a fig leaf for shameless degradation of quality.

In Lookout Santa Cruz, the [university administration] explains: We just don't have the infrastructure to handle all our students and their families. The pandemic work-around will be fine from now on. Another casualty of University growth (emphasis added).

Showing a flash of humor, the Emeritus professor who sent me the email I have reproduced above enclosed the photo below, saying that quality cutbacks in UCSC education - cutbacks that are, as he did properly note, the result of University growth - have not yet eliminated small seminars at UCSC. We still have those small seminars, he says; thank goodness!

Here, he said, I can prove it:

Image Credits:
(1) - https://commencement.ucsc.edu
(2) - https://youtu.be/RzsyhQmJtLw 
(3) - Gary Patton photo from personal communication

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