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Tied up over graduation cords

     There has been some controversy on how cords make it to the graduates: Should they be solely academic or open to organizations?
A little while ago, I mentioned to my friends that I was in a club, and I would be receiving cords for my participation these past couple of years. One friend was not having it.

     Her main argument was that cords were meant to be about academics. The people who put the work in and get the grades should be the ones receiving the rope, as compared to people who go to one meeting and pay five dollars and receive one.

     As someone who participates in a lot of activities on campus, it frustrated me that we were secluding the sentiment of cords to just academics.
For me, I think graduation is a celebration of the past couple of years and ending the chapter together as a community. The ultimate Huskies forever fiesta. A really good senior shindig.

     While the primary focus of going to college is the academics, there is a lot more to the years than that. Students gain professional skills, participate in clubs and organizations and find themselves in the greatest sense of the meaning. Why shouldn’t we observe it through the common celebration tool for graduation: the cord?

     For some of us, our extracurricular activities take up the majority of our time in college. They allow you to make a better campus community for the future students. They are the groups that give you the friends you have today.

     I cannot argue that there should be stricter regulations on receiving cords for each club. It is a little difficult at this point to evaluate what is exactly fair for each club since they are all different respectively, but participation should be a main factor. If you have someone who barely participates, do you really want them to represent your club at graduation?

     One argument that was made was that it minimizes the symbolic meaning to the cord. If you look solely at it as a celebration of academic achievement, it does fade in importance as compared to the person wearing a dozen.

     In a hypothetical situation, if you were to only observe cords for academics, it would be a direct way to see who did well and who didn’t, ultimately showing some type of hierarchy between students. Who is better, and who isn’t.

     The overall theme comes back to achievement. If we are solely recognizing academics, we are not representing the other ways students have achieved during their time as a Husky. The person who gave 10 hours each week for service is as deserving as the person who aced a couple more classes.

     I look at cords for myself and what my personal philosophy is. I don’t wear it to show off or to rub it in anyone’s face like, “Oh, look at me and all I have done, losers.” I want to know that all the time that I spent working my tail off went toward something, and the physical weight on my shoulders at graduation reminds me of it.

     No matter how cords work, there is no way to guarantee everyone getting a cord. If they were purely academic, there would be some without. With a plethora of cords currently available, there will still be some. No matter how we do it, there is still a difference.

     Celebrate your graduation the way you want to, with cord or without. Ultimately that day is for you to reflect on what BU gave you on your adventure and what you plan to take away. No number of cords can change that.

Cody is a senior English literature. major with minors in psychology and communications studies. He is a features editor for the Voice

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