ASU prepares for annual graduation

By Reggie Santini, Spotlight Editor

With the end of the spring semester well within sight, Contra Costa College and its students are preparing for their annual graduation ceremony.

The CCC graduation ceremony will take place on May 26 at the Richmond Civic Center. Graduates will attend a rehearsal at 9 a.m. that day to prepare for the event at 6 p.m.

Political science major Jose Arebalo said the Associated Students Union (ASU) will be providing a post-rehearsal lunch catered by J. Gourmet.

“We wanted to make sure everyone had something to eat, so we ordered tofu burgers, chicken and steak wraps and Italian vegetal stacks (vegetarian lasagna),” Arebalo said.

During the event, ASU President Safi Ward-Davis will give a speech to the graduates. Ward-Davis said she’s excited for graduation.

“Last year at this time I was the one in those seats graduating. We had expected about 300 students and it turned out to be around 500.”

Ward-Davis said around 300 students are expected to be participating in graduation this spring semester.

She said it takes time to calculate the number of students who will actually graduate, therefore the ASU is also pressed for time when calculating the amount of merchandise orders it needs to place.

Arebalo said, “The ASU will be providing a goodie bag for the graduates.”

Graduates will be receiving a reusable graduation bag with a CCC graduate T-shirt, custom CCC stylist pen and a keychain, he said.

Ward-Davis said students will also be receiving a portfolio with a congratulatory letter from CCC President Mojdeh Mehdizadeh or Dean of Student Services Vicki Ferguson.

Students planning to graduate at the end of the spring semester had until April 3 to turn in their petition to graduate.

Ward-Davis said petitioning students must first speak to their counselors.

“Their counselors will go over all the requirements needed to graduate and double check to make sure the student has met them,” she said. If all requirements have been met the students, will receive a graduation form from the their counselor.

“Students must take the completed form to Admission and Records before the deadline to be included in the ceremony,” she said.

Liberal arts major Brittany Turner said she wasted no time in signing up to graduate.

“It was really easy to complete the whole process.”

The form is simple, she said. Students need to fill out the information for their major and their basic information.

“Admission and Records will email you if they need any further information.”

But, she said, she was surprised it took so long for her to receive her congratulatory email. “It finally came during the last week of April.” Arebalo said the ASU finished making the payments for everything they needed on Monday.

Graduation’s total budget was $8,000. It cost the ASU $3,000 for the student portfolios and $3,000 for the Oakland-based catering company, J. Gourmet, he said. About $1,000 of the remaining funds was used to order the T-shirts, and the remaining $1,000 was split between the bags, pens and key chains, he said.

“Normally, if there was anything left over from the budget it would go back to the ASU’s general account. But we burned everything up,” Arebalo said.