A year at home, ending afield


Sarah Lambert

The Mustang Stadium will be the sight of graduation this year.

Sarah Lambert, Managing Editor

It has now been a month since the announcement was made that graduation likely would take place in a new location. The ceremony that has traditionally taken place at Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall will be moved to the Mustang Stadium in an effort to accommodate larger groups.

Some seniors were upset with the change. “There is a lack of communication and compromise between admin and students,” senior Gia Singh said.

I think we all feel like our opinions as a student body aren’t being heard,” senior Natalia Freden said.

In an effort to provide more open communication, here are the answers to students’ potential questions:

Why is this decision being made so early?

This decision is actually being made relatively later than years prior. Graduation is traditionally planned at least a year in advance, with planning for the next year’s graduation beginning after each graduation ends. Major decisions also need to be made early, to accommodate available tickets and venue locations. Venues for graduation need to be contacted 18 months in advance.

Principal Hills noted that he wants to provide time for planning, as that can ensure that students have the best graduation possible during the current circumstances. 

Why will graduation happen on the field?

Some students were upset about the news of the change in location but are understanding given the circumstances. “It’s not ideal but this whole year is not ideal. If it’s what they can do it’s what they can do,” senior Jared Robbins said.

If graduation were to be held at Constitution Hall, we would be at the mercy of both the venue and DC regulations, which could change at any point. In DC, we have even less control than we have in Virginia, as it is an entirely different jurisdiction. It is also entirely within DAR’s rights to close down and cancel all large venues, even the day before graduation. We would have the most control on our own field, as we wouldn’t have to cater to other venues’ prior obligations or worry about last-minute cancellations. 

In the past, students have not been limited to how many guests they are allowed to bring and Mr. Hills wants to continue that tradition. He hopes to allow as many family members and friends as possible to watch the seniors graduate.

Constitution Hall is also very expensive, and using that venue if only a few guests can attend is not fiscally responsible. 

Will vaccine roll-out affect graduation?

It is unlikely. The only way it would affect the decisions is if the entire student body could get vaccinated, which is not currently possible for students under the age of 16 at this point. It is unlikely that even all students age 16+ will have access to the vaccine this school year. 

Will graduation move back to Constitution Hall if DC loosens regulations?

DC would have to make changes relatively soon. Mr. Hills, however, stated earlier this month that he “Wouldn’t be doing [his] job if [he] waited till the last minute to make the decision.”