With Chicago at DePaul's disposal, why is graduation in Rosemont?
Published: Monday, February 13, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08
Moreover, DePaul's College of Law typically holds commencement at the Civic Opera, but has opted to re-route their May 20 commencement to the Rosemont Theatre due to the G8/Nato summits.
Opponents of the Allstate commencement cling to the argument that the amenities of Rosemont simply don't compare to what the city of Chicago offers. After all, the city is what drove so many students to choose DePaul.
Others argue that there isn't enough to do with their families in Rosemont after the ceremony. In the city, one can simply walk a block or two and find a restaurant to dine-in and celebrate.
Furthermore, some find it striking that DePaul would hold an off-campus commencement given the effort they go through in promoting their relationship with Chicago. For instance, a banner on the eighth floor of the Loop Campus DePaul Center refers to DePaul as "the cornerstone of Chicago." Additionally, the school's website shows off some of Chicago's renowned landscape, from Wrigley Field to the downtown skyline to the lake front. In sharp contrast, the area surrounding the Allstate Arena is characterized by a noisy highway, a Target and a skid-row of hotels.
Despite the charismatic Chicago landscape, administrators point out that the cost of holding such a large ceremony within the city would end up being too much, resulting in the university having to limit the amount of guests students are allowed bring with them.
Suchar echoed this defense, and said that a ceremony closer to campus can become cost-prohibitive when considering the large amount of guests that accompany students. In this light, Suchar said, "It's a tougher issue than I think a lot of students realize."
Like Sullivan, Suchar was willing to level with students frustrated with inconvenient travel itineraries caused by the Allstate Arena commencement.
"I recognize it causes a problem," Suchar said. "But how many times in a life will you do it? I don't think a lot of parents would mind it. They want to be there."
The LAS dean added that in his experience, he has noticed that many families do enjoy the ceremony. "We let the families scream and yell," he said as he described what he characterized as a fun atmosphere for families and graduates.
Still, DePaul's student body remains opposed to a commencement so far from campus, despite administrative affirmation regarding the advantages of the Allstate Arena
Senior Mic Durfee, for instance, has already chosen not to attend the LAS ceremony. "It's too much of a hassle," said Durfee. "It should be painless… There should be a better option."
Much of the hassle Durfee is referring to is the 8 a.m. start time of the LAS commencement, which has troubled other students as well. Some feel that this pain would be lessened if the event were held on campus, or at least somewhere closer within Chicago.
Dave Cueman, who graduated as a DePaul undergrad in 2010, and who is now enrolled in DePaul's Master of Arts in Writing and Publishing program, noted the pros and cons of the early commencement when recalling his ceremony.
"The only good thing was I had the rest of the day . . . But you feel like a zombie because (the ceremony) is so early," he said.
Cueman went on to cite the size of the Allstate Arena and the noticeable empty seats in the upper deck when recalling what he viewed as the negative aspects of the ceremony. To Cueman, the setting did not resemble that of a typical college commencement, and it was not how he pictured graduating.
Cueman, who is from New Jersey, added that it was an inconvenience to coordinate events with his parents who, along with his two grandparents and sister, opted to stay the weekend at a hotel in Rosemont.
Despite resentment felt among much of DePaul's student-body, few have expressed their feelings beyond their own conversations.
Student Government Association President Anthony Alfano said he can understand a student's feelings of misconnect from graduating at Allstate but added, "no one has come up to me [to voice their complaint]."
Despite not formally airing their complaints to SGA or DePaul's administration, student-body and administration opinion on commencement could not appear to be further apart.
Cueman, who does not plan on walking in his Master's commencement this year went on to lament, "It didn't even feel like I graduated college. There was no aspect of DePaul there."