Cord Discord

Tess Monks

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An announcement earlier this month stated that the revised cord policy would allow students to wear all cords and regalia at graduation. However, a recent update from administration states that “At commencement, each graduate may wear one honor cord, stole, or other approved adornment which they’ve earned as a member of an enduring MLWGS organization. This achievement may have occurred during any year of the student’s tenure at MLWGS.”

A survey of the senior class found that over half support the original revised policy, which would have allowed students to wear all regalia and cords at graduation. Only a small minority approve of the updated policy of only allowing one cord.

Graph courtesy of Tess Monks
A survey of the senior class found that over half support the original revised policy, which would have allowed students to wear all regalia and cords at graduation. Only a small minority approve of the updated policy of only allowing one cord.

Dear Editor:

Equality on graduation day has come too far with the regalia now capped at one item per student. Must we all be equal on the day that is supposed to celebrate our outstanding accomplishments throughout all four years of high school? Why do we have to brush our consistent efforts under the rug when our final goodbye to these halls, friends, and teachers should be congratulating us for all our successes?

For many of us in the senior class, our interests and accomplishments span multiple disciplines, and choosing which one cord or piece of regalia to wear becomes a “Sophie’s Choice” of sorts. Would I look like a poor teammate if I chose to wear my silver and purple National Latin Honor Society cord instead of my We the People medal? The financial issue at hand is also important to consider. At the beginning of the year, the cost of cords was incorporated into honor society dues. What will happen now when we cannot sport the gear that we have already paid for?

I am not alone in this thought. As my classmate, Jack Miller, so eloquently stated, “Graduation is the celebration of four years of hard work at Maggie Walker, and the cords represent the culmination of each student’s commitment and diligence. To reduce this tradition to one cord penalizes so many students who strove to be well-rounded contributors to the Maggie Walker community.”

For a community so dedicated to collaborating with students on administrative policies, why can the senior class have no say in the decision making process for the one day that is about us, and only us? Although some students may have fewer cords than others, we have grown to appreciate each other for our individual talents over our four years together. We know which students are the amazing artists or the outstanding mathematicians. We do not judge what we lack, but we celebrate our abilities and talents. If students choose to wear all five of their cords, then let them! If someone chooses to wear none at all, then who are we to judge? Let the students choose their own display of knowledge and ability on the last, most sentimental day of their high school career. Don’t let the faculty decide for us, but hear our voices on an issue that should only pertain to our own opinions.

Sincerely,
Tess Monks (’16)

 

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