Students at Shenendehowa High School are currently considering a possible change in a long-standing graduation tradition: new caps and gowns.
According to high school principal Mr. Donald Flynt, this change isn’t definite, but the district is “throwing out the idea” and is using a survey
to gauge opinions.
Mr. Flynt said that the change would improve “the look, quality, and feel” of the gowns. In addition, Mr. Flynt said that there is a possibility that the Shen seal will be included on the new design.
There are three new options for students to consider, and a fourth option which is to keep the traditional robes students have worn in years past.
According to Mr. Flynt, the old gowns were due for an upgrade, and the school wanted to go for a cheaper option, rather than designing two new gowns. Currently girls wear white gowns and boys wear green gowns during graduation ceremonies.
Mr. Flynt said he has already received a few negative comments from parents about the potential change.
Mr. Flynt said about 150 people took part in the survey so far and about 50 percent said they would like to keep the traditional caps and gowns.
The potential for new graduation robes has been a topic of discussion in the Shenendehowa cafeteria, hallways, library and classrooms for about a week. Overall the new robes seem unpopular with students.
One senior, Holly Swimm has started a petition to fight for the traditional robes. Her petition to keep the traditional graduation robes has grown in popularity since she created it. As of Sept. 25, she had over 200 signatures. She said the color of the gowns are symbolic, and also a tradition to Shen’s graduation ceremony.
Many students seem to agree with Swimm including Kaitlyn LaBounty, a senior, who said she thinks the new gowns are “awful.”
“I don’t like them at all,” she said. “It goes against tradition and should be kept the same.”
LaBounty hopes the seniors will keep the tradition going and vote for the green and white gowns.
Senior Derek Nolan, also said he thinks the robes are “ridiculous.”
“It’s ridiculous, they should wear whatever color they want to,” he said.
Nicole Bailey, a senior, said it would be best to wear the old green and white ones, too.
“It’s been a tradition, I feel like tradition is best,” she said.
Jen Chamberland, a senior, said she doesn’t like the new graduation gowns “at all.”
“They looked like jersey’s,” she said.
Despite the negative responses from students, some students feel like change can be a good thing including Alex Locke, a senior who said “switch it up.”
Julianna Ferguson, a junior, said that she liked the idea that the school is allowing the students to vote on the graduation gowns that they will eventually wear.
“Change is good,” she said
Jared LaBrecque, senior, said he enjoys the new options instead of the traditional green and white gowns. LaBrecque said he likes the stripes and the new designs.
Though this is a large controversy on campus, some students feel this should all be put back into perspective.
“There’s so many other things to argue about,” Hayley Robillard, a senior, said. “This is very unnecessary.”
According to junior Joe Novenche, this is really not important. “As long as I’m graduating, I don’t really care what I wear,” he said.
To vote for your favorite graduation robe option click here.