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SUNY Plattsburgh to Hold Winter Commencement this December

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (Sept. 21, 2009) -- The college will hold its winter commencement this December thanks to the Student Association, according to SUNY Plattsburgh President John Ettling.The ceremony had originally been cancelled due to the college's current budget crunch.

"As much as we disliked the idea of discontinuing winter commencement, we felt we had to cut the ceremony rather than something affecting our core mission of providing a quality education for our students," said Ettling in a message to the campus community.

However, when Student Association President Lindsay Lyons and other members of the SA heard about the decision, they expressed concern about the impact it would have on students who had already made arrangements for the December event. 

According to President Ettling, the SA carefully considered the ramifications of the cancellation on members of the student body and their families.

"The SA knew that members of the student body would regret the loss of this event, but more than that, they knew that the families of many students had already planned to attend. Mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandparents had made plane and hotel reservations," said Ettling.

Steven Booth, executive vice president of the SA, said the Student Association's job is to look out for the students and to represent their voices.  Meeting via e-mail in early June, the SA Senate discussed the matter and weighed options, ultimately deciding to dedicate $8,000 toward the cost of this year"s event.

The celebration will now take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12, and will honor approximately 500 students who are eligible to graduate at that time.

"While the Student Association has ensured that this year's winter commencement will take place, we are evaluating whether or not the ceremony will be held in future years," said Ettling. "A decision about winter commencement 2010 and beyond will be made in the near future."

The college will be one only two comprehensive schools in the SUNY system to hold a commencement ceremony this winter. The other college is SUNY Oswego.

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