Students advocate for change in graduation attire

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a large impact on the graduating class of 2022, many students have requested a way to signify that effect. One of these ways is by changing the graduation caps and gowns from navy blue to carolina blue. Last year, various students in the Senior Class Council attempted to enact a change similar to this; however, it was to no avail. This year, though, that dream has been reinvigorated by students across the school. 

Last year’s Senior Class President Homero Ruiz had strong feelings on how the school should change its current cap and gown design. 

“Last year, I felt like seniors deserved to decorate their graduation caps and gowns in some way, just to change things up and add a bit of uniqueness to the process,” Ruiz said. “Whether it be with things from their college, personality, or heritage, we thought it would be something where students would be even more proud to walk as a graduate.“

Unfortunately, Ruiz was disappointed when the administration didn’t see eye to eye with his request. 

“Sadly, the administration didn’t support this idea. They were very delayed with their response, taking several weeks to get back to us“ Ruiz said. “It was really demotivating to not be able to make a change as simple as that. It didn’t seem like too much to ask, but I guess they thought otherwise”

Despite this, Ruiz is ecstatic to see students still trying to push for this change. One of these students who is a part of this growing movement is Senior Rebecca Darville. She firmly believes in making the change to carolina gowns, especially due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“We were the ones who our first year of high school was when we got kicked out of school, so our three years of high school have been affected,” Darville said. “I feel like that shows that we’re definitely a different class compared to the rest of them, so we deserve something different.”

Darville strongly feel like carolina caps and gowns were the solution to this issue. She even suggested that they become a permanent tradition and will better represent Har-Ber. 

“Our colors are navy and carolina, but I think carolina blue represents Har-Ber better than Navy blue,” Darville said. “When I think of carolina blue it feels more like school spirit and excitement than Navy. We should just make this permanent”

Darville has several complaints about the current Navy blue graduation gowns. 

“Have you seen how the Navy ones turn up in pictures? They look horrible,” Darville said. “They look like they’re purple. They don’t look Navy at all, while carolina would be so bold and distinct from any other school.”

Junior Brooke Beyer shared a much different opinion on how the two turn out in photos. 

“I think Navy because it is traditional and darker looks better on people,” Beyer said. “Carolina would wash people out.”

Similarly, this sentiment toward Navy has been reflected by over half of the school. According to a recent poll, 55% of students prefer Navy while 45% desire carolina.

“I believe that the Navy Blue traditional wear of the cap and gown is so outdated and really is boring,” junior Maximor Rax said. “Carolina blue will give us all a pop in our graduation year.”

Another student used tradition as a reason to support Navy caps and gowns rather than a reason to remove them. 

“It is a dark, formal traditional color that matches seamlessly with the color scheme of our school,” senior Selina Hernandez said. “That’s why we have to keep navy.”