By Bryana Atkinson and Samiha Huque
This year, many seniors have complained about the increased price of senior dues. However, as Mr. Matthew Torres, Student Advisor explained, students will be getting more bang for their buck. Not only will students get more physical items in their senior dues package, they will also graduate at Barclays Center.
Torres said that he feels that Technites have a special connection to Barclays because of its proximity to the school. Seniors have watched the area being built since their freshman year and have seen it go from conception to completion. Tech is also the only high school that has ever had its graduation at the Barclays Center.
“Why would we let that go,” Torres said. “We stuck our flag into Barclays Center. We’re the best school in the city, so we deserve the best venue.”
“I’m excited about Barclays Center,” said Sharin Chowdhury ’14. “It’s cool to know that we’re graduating at a place that so many celebrities have performed.”
It is difficult to find somewhere large enough to host nearly 1,400 students and their families for graduation. Prior to last year, graduations took place in the school auditorium in two different ceremonies. As Toka Hussein ’14, Senior Parliamentarian said, “[Last year at Barclays] felt more personal because you could clearly see everything no matter where you were because of the jumbotron.”
There were other venue possibilities on the table. According to Torres, Madison Square Garden, Saint John’s, Cyclone Stadium, Radio City Music Hall, and Javitt’s Center were also considered for graduation. Many of these were rejected because of the high price.
The Student Government Executive Board of Students stepped in to make the final decision. “The student council gave the thumbs up to let us know which direction we want to go in,” Torres said.
A member of the Executive Board herself, Hussein shed some light on the council’s involvement in the process of booking Barclays. “The executive senior members were asked to vote by administration on whether to have graduation at Barclays or in school,” she said.
Booking Barclays Center for the second time went more smoothly than the first time around because Tech had already managed to do it once before. Signing an actual contract happened much sooner this year. Still, the process was not without complication.
Hussein explained, “The NYS regents schedule conflicted with the NYC teaching contract, so there weren’t any additional days after regents exams where we could have graduation.” Other issues included finding a day that did not interfere with the NBA draft.
When January comes around, students should make sure that they’ve taken all of the required Regents for graduation. They should make sure to keep their grades up and keep themselves out of trouble. This year’s graduation promises to be an exciting one, and no one would want to miss out.