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Sooner Than We Think – Should Graduation Be At BHS or NIU?

Graduation is a month away. That’s right, graduation is one month away, seniors. Wed. May 21 is the day that many of us have been waiting for, but now that it is this close, it might be hard to imagine this as the last time the class of 2014 will be together. While it might feel like yesterday that you entered Batavia High School for the first time as a student, the old cliché time flies, can pertain to the years of high school.
BHS has become more than just a school for many seniors. The high school has become a place where friendships have grown through elementary and middle school. Over time, BHS has become a second home for most students. With the countless hours spent at athletic, music, or theater practices, and the numerous clubs offered by BHS, some students spend more of their day at BHS than they do at their houses.
For the second consecutive year, BHS graduation will be hosted at the Convocation Center at Northern Illinois University. According to, the seating capacity is 10,000 and has 45,000 square feet of floor space. With 3,000 parking spaces, NIU provides the most room for BHS families at the commencement ceremony.
“Many families were struggling with the ticket limit that had to be enforced when graduation was at the BHS gym,” Principal Joanne Smith said. “Many graduates wanted to invite their immediate and extended families and were not able to based on the seating capacity of the gym. NIU was one of the facilities that we investigated based on the seating capacity.”
This is the advantage of having graduation at NIU. It allows for as many family members as wanted. When graduation was at BHS, tickets were sold and a set amount of tickets were given to each graduate. With more room, families and other guests can enjoy a comfortable setting rather than being in a hot gymnasium rushing to find seats. However, after all of the hard work that has been put in over four years at BHS, it would only be fitting for the students to graduate in their hometown. The last night spent together as the class of 2014 should be held in the school that has built us educationally and as people. Without the tremendous BHS staff, students, and community, BHS would not be the place it is today. That is why the night of graduation should be held in the community where a majority of its students have grown up.
“BHS has been in my life as long as I can remember,” senior Alex Rodriguez said. “I remember going to my first football game and thinking about the day that I would be a high school student. After these four years, I have made made friends and memories that I will never forget. I love that everyone can come together and make BHS feel like home.”
The class of 2014 has left a mark on Batavia athletics. Going back to the thrilling football season where the football team went 13-1 and brought home the first state title to Batavia since 1912 was a feat that this town will cherish forever. Batavia girls basketball accomplished multiple goals throughout their season. The girls won conference and also a regional championship. Spring sports are underway and Batavia athletics are looking to finish off a strong 2013-2014 school year.
While it took a lot of investigative work by administration, the graduation ceremony was a success last year.
“To be honest, I think this may have been a concern when the graduation was moved,” Smith said. “We did not hear any negative feedback about the NIU location after the ceremony was completed.”
For years to come, BHS students and families should be able to vote during summer registration on where graduation should be held. By doing so, this would give the BHS administration enough time to plan ahead on where the commencement ceremony will be hosted.

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