Revealed Priorities: Football Game Trumps NDSU Graduation Ceremony

I thought this letter to the Fargo Forum from the mother of a NDSU student – one Susan Nilson of Minot – makes an excellent point about the NDSU graduation ceremony controversy.

An excerpt:

I am a mother of a student who will be graduating on Friday. I would like to express how disgusted, saddened, and angry I am over how NDSU is handling the graduation this Friday. I feel that your institution has lost sight of what it is there to do. The fact that a football game is being given priority over student graduation is shameful. Moving graduation to a time when students are to be taking finals and forcing them to reschedule their finals is nothing short of idiotic.

Also, having graduation in a facility that could not possibly hold everyone who wishes to attend is mind- boggling. After spending more than $40,000 on this education, the fact that our family may not get a seat to watch our daughter walk is outrageous!

For those of you in the dark on this issue, North Dakota State University decided to move commence to a different facility due to a scheduling conflict with the football team.

Universities like NDSU very often get accused of putting academics below things like athletics and luxury perks for administrators on the old priority list. Indeed, that very much seems to be the case at NDSU where the championship football team enjoys world-class facilities and the president has his own chauffeur but students and academics have to contend with a chemistry building that’s a fire hazard and research labs without running water.

Now students graduating from the university – the very activity which NDSU was originally founded to execute – are taking a back seat to a football game.

Because priorities.

I was talking to a friend of mine earlier today about NDSU prioritizing athletics over academics, and he said that “people don’t tailgate at chemistry experiments.”

That seems to be the opinion of the university.

“Yeah, but football brings in all sorts of revenues,” some of you will argue.

But what brings in far more revenues is tuition, which the kids pay so they can graduate.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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