Voices: Graduation stoles: winners and losers

The introduction of stoles into the Bear Creek battlefield at its commencement ceremony has charged the tense atmosphere higher than the level it was at when students and staff voted for different gown and cap colors. Gangs have banded together under the title of “clubs” to form coalitions to formally sign up for these new weapons provided by the administration. The blood is in the water, and the sharks are swimming forward, teeth bared.

The cultural clubs have armed themselves with ethnic performances, fitted with colorful costumes to spread their diversity, which is one of Bear Creek’s biggest strengths. International Rally is their main vehicle; not only does it bring in a wealth of funds for the school, students are also able to cultivate a magical scene to temporarily transport spectators to their respective culture.

These clubs are defeated because of one weapon at the administration’s disposal: the requirement of an outside affiliation.
So even though Swing Club performs at many other events besides International Rally, such as at John Muir and the Bear Creek Crab Feed, as well as requested for events like the baseball banquet, their members believed they never had a fighting chance — and what could they have done in the face of a smoking rocket launcher, anyway?

The Army, the ones actually affiliated with warfare, have also lost the battle this year. Despite their presence on the campus and their impact on student lives (and their gifted stoles to each of their recruits), students cannot wear their stoles at graduation to define themselves. The only place where they must be willingly unarmed in their future is at their very own commencement ceremony.

They could never have won against an enemy that can’t pick up the phone to retaliate. They can only swallow their defeat as they walk across the stage, knowing that even though CSF is seated in the first few rows for paying a few dollars every semester while maintaining decent grades, plumed in their golden stoles on their shoulders, the recruits are bare. They can only smile while they receive an empty cylinder, knowing that the district refuses to acknowledge their future contribution to the nation.

Because none of these students truly deserve such a high honor at one of the biggest milestones of their short lives so far, an event that personally commends them — do they?