A 21st Century Memoir.

The Story of Graduation

It was sort of funny, at first, everyone I’ve ever needed to email or talk to  decided to up and leave before I could have a quick chat with them. I wanted the fall 2012 quarter to be my last quarter at Cal Poly Pomona, but instead the school was secretly working their administration magic to keep me paying for a way to get out.

Undergraduates at the school have to pay $6,624 for tuition, an estimated $1,500 for books, $106 for parking per quarter, and some classes, like my dance course, requires you to go see  plays that often require purchasing $50 tickets. That’s not including gas/transportation cost, room and board, groceries, and other necessary living costs, so you could understand my reasoning for just wanting to be done with school.

The problem is that the school is seemingly putting so many obstacles in front of you that you can’t graduate on time.

Most of conversations with the administration took place in the form of emails.

Jasmine: I’m not sure what is required of me before and after I apply for graduation. I read this statement on the school’s website:

“Graduation Checks for all Undergraduates and Masters (excluding Masters in College of Education) will be done automatically. Students do not have to complete a Request for Graduation Check Form.

But then I read this:

“- Undergraduates must submit paperwork reflecting their Advisor approved Career Track, Directed Electives, Curriculum Year Change requests or Academic Petitions.

  • Beginning Winter 2010, Graduation Checks for students in the College of Business Administration, College of Science and the Collins College of Hospitality Management will be done automatically. Students with majors in these colleges do not have to complete a Request for Graduation Check Form. Submit all required documentation to the Registrar’s Office (Bldg. 98, 2nd Floor).
  • Only one graduation check will be issued while enrolled at Cal Poly Pomona unless you change your major or the evaluator determined that there is missing or incorrect information in the original Graduation Check.
  • Questions about your graduation check should be directed to your advisor in your major department.”

Should I just fill out a Grad Check just in case since I’m not in one of those colleges mentioned?

Advisor: You apply for graduation when you are enrolled in your last classes.

Jasmine: So there’s no grad check before doing that?

Advisor: As of the 1st of October 2012, I have retired after 40 years of service.  It has been a pleasure working at CPP.  If you need immediate assistance, contact the following…

Jasmine:

And then there was a time when I wanted to speak to my regular advisor and I found out that he was on sabbatical. Petitioning for classes to fill other requirements and finding out information was a disaster. I walked into offices, occasionally called individuals on the phone all while balancing a full load of classes, an internship, grad school applications and some other crap.

“Wait, are you a Communications major?” I said to the girl sitting in my four hour business ethics class.

“Yeah, they told me that I didn’t have to take COM ethics and then changed their mind at the last minute when I tried to apply for graduation,” she said while rolling her eyes. “They only offered it in the spring and I asked if I could take another course to substitute it, and well, here I am.”

“Really? Me too. They told me that it was only offered in the winter quarter though.” I said to my fellow frustrated student. “I also asked them if I could petition for two English courses last spring and they said everything was fine. Turns out they changed their mind in the fall and said that I couldn’t do it. I had to petition for three courses and do some strange rearrangement instead. I’m just trying to get out of here. I’ve already done my four years.”

Everything about the whole process of getting out of here was ridiculous, even the fact that they made you pay $55 just to graduate. Of course that didn’t include the fees you have to pay to walk across a stupid stage and grab an index card while wearing overpriced pajamas and a cardboard hat. Those costs would come later since the school banks off of the emotional needs of your parents.

I’m not going to lie, half of the fact that I have now graduated is due to hard work and studying—the other half, however, is due to the arm and a leg I paid just to leave and the crazy insane dance all over the campus I did while torturing information and signatures out of the administration and my advisors. It was an interesting experience—but I also kind of just wanted to get the f%ck out of there.

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