BATEMAN: Cords, stoles should mean something more



This year, the district administration and board have decided that the current senior class will not be walking across Hanson Field, despite decades before us having that opportunity. The students expressed very dedicated opinions on this. So,  the district attempted to fix their mistake by granting students the chance to recognize the clubs they’re involved in during graduation through new cords, pins, and other memorabilia. 

Clubs and other extracurriculars could now have the opportunity to apply for cords, pins, and decorated caps to wear at graduation. 

At first, all I could hear were positive reactions from other students. People were glad to do something commemorative to celebrate their nonacademic accomplishments. Although administration has been outspoken about being against decorating caps for this year’s graduating class, being acknowledged for hard work aside from grades seems logical. While I completely agree that there are other accomplishments that should be acknowledged at graduation, I personally believe adding cords and stoles into the day takes away from the importance and prestige of cords.

Again, I am all for the addition of pins or decorated caps as a way to better represent the time spent in different clubs and activities Roseville, but adding cords has an unintentional effect that actually makes educationally rewarded cords less prestigious.

While walking at graduation, cords are supposed to be a way to honor your hard work spent in school, not necessarily outside of school. Whether it’s the cord of biliteracy, the California Scholarship Federation cord, the BioMed cord, or a VAPA cord, they’re a way to celebrate students excelling in their coursework.

By adding more cords into the plan, it will cause students to find taking all Spanish courses or filling out the CSF paperwork as pointless, since they can get cords for graduation through simply joining a club.

Though clubs are incredibly beneficial to the school and respective community, cords’ main purpose is to represent academic achievements. By allowing students to get cords for doing extracurricular activities, it could eventually become so widespread that even three sport athletes, or other nonacademic accomplishments feel the need to be recognized as well.

If the administration feels obligated (as they should) to try and make this year’s graduation more special for the graduates, I think this is the wrong way to go about it. In order to still appreciate the hard work students have put in academically, clubs should be able to stand out by designing their own pin for students to wear. Cords are supposed to be about success in the classes one is enrolled in, so they should stay just that. The one exception, in my opinion, could be for electives and other Career Technical Education programs.

Similar to VAPA programs, students enrolled in CTE programs invest many classes and time to their class, so I think cords could be an opportunity to recognize their success and dedication inside the classroom. This could mean student government, engineering, or culinary students getting cords after completing their courses. 

By having cords reserved for achievements in the classroom and other decorations for clubs, there could be more students embracing what they’ve dedicated their time to, while also highlighting individual academic accomplishments, since it is a high school graduation.