Outdoor Graduation? A New Tradition At IHS


Ben DiBello, Journalist

The graduation ceremony at Ipswich High School has always been inside. The experience is almost always negative. Most of the time it’s hot and crowded. There’s also a limit on the amount of guests each student is allowed to bring. An outdoor graduation would seemingly fix all of these problems.

Most students would prefer to have graduation outside. Senior student, Shao Qui, said that outdoor graduation would be “really nice for the atmosphere” and would be much more comfortable. Another senior student, Maddie Wilson, mentioned the comfortability, saying that if we had outdoor graduation, “We would be able to breath.” Maddie also said that outdoor graduation “would be prettier.” When polled, 94.7% of senior students said that they would prefer outdoor graduation to indoor graduation.

There are some hypothetical drawbacks to an outdoor graduation. Zach Forni talked about this issue saying that it “would be safer to stay inside” for graduation because if there was bad weather, then it wouldn’t be very enjoyable. Another senior, Evan Antonakes, agreed saying that he would enjoy outdoor graduation, but only if it were“on a nice, warm, and sunny day.”

The concern for bad weather is a very real. If it rained during the graduation ceremony, then people would be very unhappy. However, there is a backup plan. If it were to rain, the next day would be the rain date. As of right now, graduation is scheduled for Sunday, June 2 and will be indoors. If the graduation ceremony was moved outside, our planned graduation date would be moved to the first of June. If it rains on June 1 then we would have graduation on the second. If it rains on the first and the second then we would have graduation inside on June second. Though there is a plan for the possibility of rain, it will most likely not rain. According to Intellicast, June has the lowest historical average amount of rain out of any month. Also, the historical average precipitation level for June 1 in Ipswich, 0.1 inches.

Mr. Mitchell, Ipswich’s new principal, has suggested the outdoor graduation idea to the school administration. He says that the decision is a bit more complicated than what people want. Mitchell says that an outdoor graduation would “take a little bit more work.” We would have to change the agreement with the chair company that Ipswich High School usually employs for graduations. The new agreement would have to include the possibility for either an indoor or outdoor ceremony as well as the possibility of having graduation on the Saturday or the Sunday. Also, Mr. Mitchell said that it is tradition to have our graduations indoors and though not everyone is happy with it, it has worked for quite a while.

Graduation is a big moment for students and families. There is a lot of thought put into the day and I don’t think being inside would ruin the day entirely. However, I do think that outdoor graduation is preferred by most senior students. If an outdoor graduation ceremony is a possibility, it should definitely happen.