NIU needs to get better commencement speakers


By Jessica Jenks

I am not just envious. I am green with jealous rage at schools that have people whom I admire give their commencement addresses.

Unfortunately, NIU never has fun speakers for commencement.

“If CAB looked into it I’m sure something could possibly happen,” said Byron Neal Jr., president of Campus Activities Board. “It has just never happened, but I also know the university wants to get people in and out of commencement.”

Commencement is the celebration of graduating. Those who graduate are invited to the commencement ceremony.

Congratulations, student, you have completed several years of education successfully. I know this is a celebration to present you back into society as a highly-educated individual who is forward thinking, open minded, logical, and smarter than your average bear, but please put on this cap and gown and come listen to someone tell you that the world is your oyster (an oyster that you will soon be repaying student loans to for many years).

Also several hundred other people will be attending, and everyone’s names will be read one at a time.

The real difference between the two is that graduating is for the students and commencement is for their parents. I would love to just be done and get my degree. I do not want to sit through hundreds of other names.

Sure, I am so proud of the hundreds of other liberal arts and sciences graduates. I am honored just to be in their presence, but if it were not so important to my parents to watch me walk across a stage and receive the cover to my diploma, then I would just skip the ceremony.

If I do have to listen to someone tell me that the world is my oyster, I would like it to be someone like Conan O’Brien, Jon Stewart, or Stephen Colbert. I want to hear it from someone who is going to make me laugh and entertain me, even if only for a few minutes.

Plus, I believe that the world is their oyster. They hit the world oyster jackpot and bring a certain amount of credibility to the speech. As COMS 100 teaches us, credibility is a very important factor in the art of speech.

My parents just want to see me walking across the stage wearing sunglasses to keep my eyes protected from my bright, shiny future. I just want to see the ginger pompadour of Conan while he tells me what a good job I did.

There is also the possibility that no one wants to come speak at NIU’s commencement. Many times the members of the cool celebrity club give addresses to their alma mater, but I am sure that we could find someone who wants to be an honorary Huskie.

I bet Christopher Walken likes corn. He certainly likes cowbells. We can get the marching band to play “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” and lure him in with our collective banging of the cowbell.

After all, anything is possible once you have graduated. The world is a clam or something, right?