2023 Graduation Commencement Engulfed by Uncertainty

Information about the upcoming January graduation is scarce; similarly, details regarding the May commencement are nonexistent.

By Eileen Cruz

The 2022 CSI commencement was held on the Great Lawn. Hopefully, this is what students can expect in 2023.

The Office of Student Life, located in room 201 in Building 1C, is supposed to have information regarding graduation—but following the closure of the bookstore and the elections of the CSI president, no one seems to have a clue at all. 

Although students have five months to prepare for May 2023, it would be helpful to have an idea regarding the graduation fees. Students need adequate notice to begin setting aside their finances.

Student Life claims that the CSI bookstore used to have all the details, such as information on the price of caps, gowns, senior portraits, and additional student fees.

“I wish the school was more up-front about what is going on for graduation,” said Drew Donato. “The already confusing process of graduation preparation was hindered by the abrupt closing of the book store, which was vital for some supplies.”

The office awaits more information so that they can start informing students; they expect there will be updates around January or, at the latest, February.

The Student Life office and CSI staff are in the same boat as many students, with no knowledge on the biggest accomplishment of a college grad. For those seeking estimates, last year’s information is still public, but it still leaves students wondering about price changes.

“The student life center needs to realize this is an important and meaningful time for all senior graduates and they should keep us informed. I have gotten zero emails about graduation,” said Briana Mieles. “I have friends from other CUNY universities who have already taken their graduation photos with their cap and gown. So if it isn’t the effects of COVID, what is it?”

The CSI website does, however, give the link on where to order caps and gowns. It also offers the number of the photographer who will be taking senior portraits; there is a $10 sitting fee to guarantee your place in line for photos. 

This will be the second time since the pandemic hit that graduation will hopefully take place in person.

So why can’t CSI kick off senior portraits? It would ensure that students graduating in January have something to look forward to. 

“There’s a $10 sitting fee for senior portraits? That’s not so bad,” said Andrea Maldonado. “What they don’t tell you though, is that ordering your senior portraits will be like 100 times more expensive. With all the fancy backgrounds and handshake shots.”

Drew Donato, Andrea Maldonado and Briana Mieles are all seniors at CSI. They, like many other students, have the same concerns: when will CSI start prepping for graduation? 

In the meantime, students can frequently check their emails. It is also helpful to have the CSI commencement website bookmarked on your telephone, laptop, iPad or any device on hand, as well as the contact information for staff for any questions.

The CSI website may not help in managing graduation finances. But it does give the basic outline of what graduation will be like. 

Five months go by fast so stay hopeful, seniors!

“Stay diligent, stay on top of all your work. It also doesn’t hurt to talk to other students or professors. See if someone other than CSI staff knows something,” said Andrea Maldonado. “I myself am in the process of applying for graduation soon, so it would be great if CSI were able to calm the seniors down and explain how everything will work.”

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