Spring Commencement Won’t Celebrate Certain Double Majorscsudhbulletin March 22, 2023 0 COMMENTS
The first of six commencement ceremonies begins on May 19, 2023. Photo courtesy of CSUDH
By Brenda Sanchez Barrera Editor in Chief, Leah Quintero Managing Editor
Spring can be an exciting time for college students. It’s the season when students across the nation prepare for graduation. They begin to purchase their caps, gowns and diploma frames. They plan out their ceremony outfits, take their graduation pictures and excitingly plan graduation parties. That’s how it usually goes. For BreiAunna Rose, a student at California State University, Dominguez Hills, this isn’t the reality.
Rose, a child development and women’s studies major, is scheduled to graduate this upcoming spring but has recently been faced with a dilemma: she is only allowed to attend one commencement ceremony.
Rose, who transferred to CSUDH in 2020, declared a second major after being introduced to women’s studies. Since declaring, Rose has completed the necessary units needed for both majors, even paying for her classes with little financial assistance.
While registering for commencement, Rose was unable to sign up to attend both ceremonies and instead was only given the option to attend the child development ceremony.
“When I found out that I wasn’t able to participate in both [commencement ceremonies], then I was really upset because they’re not even on the same day,” Rose said.
Upon becoming aware of this, Jenn Brandt, professor and chair of the women’s studies department at CSUDH, reached out to the event organizers and found this isn’t a problem that affects all double majors. “It’s not if you have two majors in the same college. The difference is if they’re in different colleges,” she said.
According to CSUDH’s Office of Institutional Research, there are around 50 double majors. Of those, only around 25 are double majors from two different colleges. Along with Rose, Shalece Prejean is one of them.
Prejean is a senior double majoring in psychology and women’s studies. She only recently found out that despite the two ceremonies happening on different dates, she would not be able to attend both commencement ceremonies. When attempting to register for commencement, she was only given one major as an option.
When the two students saw this, they inquired to the office of the president and to the office of ceremonies and events about why they were not allowed to participate in both ceremonies. Prejean said they were met with an unjustified response stating that no one would want to attend both ceremonies.
“Dr. Brandt even provided solutions for [the event organizers],” Prejean said. “The fact that they don’t even want to budge a little bit for students, that’s what makes me upset. Especially because being a double major is super hard. [More so,] if you’re a double major in two disciplines that don’t necessarily mesh together.”
As a result of not being able to participate in both ceremonies, Rose feels less prideful about graduating from CSUDH. “Now I wouldn’t necessarily talk about [CSUDH] as much because I’m not able to participate in both commencements,” she said. “I’ve expressed it with my family and they are upset that I’m not getting rightful recognition from the university.”
The office of ceremonies and events declined to comment and redirected inquiries to the office of marketing and communications which was unable to provide an answer as to why double majors are unable to participate in two commencement ceremonies.