Hecklers Should Stop Disrupting Graduation

Ah, graduation. A time for pomp, circumstance, and reverence. I had the opportunity to attend two ceremonies this weekend to wish friends farewell. There, I encountered deliberate efforts to kill the solemnity of commencement. Even though the announcers asked for the audience to be silent so that all the parents could hear their children’s names called, the requests were duly ignored.

Hootin’ and Hollerin’

Eisenhower Auditorium and the Bryce Jordan Center broke down into anarchy. People clapped, hooted, and hollered when their student’s name was announced, thus drowning out the names of the following students.

Bells and Whistles

At the Liberal Arts ceremony, one thought pervaded my mind. Disrespect. Disrespect everywhere. Relatives and friends brought whistles and cowbells. I counted six blow horns. (Of note, the fifth blow horn was blown five times.) To my chagrin, the dreaded vuvuzelas from the World Cup made a surprise appearance.


To the fraternities at the Liberal Arts commencement: Shut up! This isn’t a house party. This isn’t initiation. You don’t matter at graduation. This is an event for the students and their loved ones. This is not the time for your chants that last for the names of three students.

At my high school, students whose families cheered and applauded during graduation were denied diplomas at the end of the ceremony. They had to go to the high school repeatedly the following week to beg for their diplomas. I don’t want Penn State to turn to this model of dictatorship, but the behavior exhibited this weekend was unacceptable.

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About the Author

Doug Dooling, Jr.

I am a staff writer for Onward State. I graduated as a Nittany Lion with Honors in 2013. Now, I am back in Happy Valley to earn a degree at the Penn State Law. Outside of politics and government, my interests include college football, soccer, Irish history, and astronomy.

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