Cal State Long Beach students upset about graduation plan at Angel Stadium

A petition about CSULB's 2023 graduation is circulating online with more than 6,000 signatures.

Jaysha Patel Image
Saturday, March 11, 2023
Cal State Long Beach students upset about 2023 graduation
Students say they're upset about the graduate recognition stages in Angel Stadium's parking lot. They say they want their names read aloud,

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- As May approaches, California State University Long Beach students are getting ready for graduation.

Students say they're not satisfied with the way graduation will play out this year.

Graduation will be held at Angel Stadium in Anaheim once again, just like last year.

This year, students say they want to walk across a stage with their name called out.

They received an email from the school, which included links to a website with information on how graduation will look.

"They were really unclear about whether they're going to speak our names or not. They said there's recognition stages like last time and I went to my friend's commencement last time and I didn't like it," said Mahek Patel, a senior at CSULB.

The graduate recognition stages appear to be in the parking of the stadium. Students say it's not the traditional way of graduating.

"We were really disappointed because some of us didn't get recognition in our high school graduations because it was in 2020, so it was disappointing after all our work for our degrees, that we wouldn't get recognition this year either," said Hansana Jinasena, a senior at CSULB.

Eyewitness news spoke to students last year who were dissatisfied with the graduation stages.

A petition circulated online then and this year, students have also created one which has received more than 6,000 signatures.

We reached out to CSULB. Their statement says in part,

"After well-received commencement ceremonies at Angel Stadium in 2021 and 2022, the university is returning to the venue for a third time in 2023. This stadium has provided a positive experience for our graduates and their families and guests, allowing ample guest tickets and best providing the necessary infrastructure and services. As in past years, we are confident that Commencement 2023 will be a rewarding and celebratory capstone for our graduates and their accomplishments. While it is not practical at this scale to read graduates' names during the main ceremonies, graduates will see their names in the program and featured on the jumbotron during the processional into the stadium. At recognition stages outside the stadium, guests will hear their graduate's name announced and see displayed behind them a personalized slide featuring a photo and quote as they walk the stage. Some of our smaller cultural ceremonies and department events prior to the main Angel Stadium ceremonies will feature name reading."

Patel says she has a meeting set with the associate vice president of student affairs on Monday to discuss graduation.

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