Many seniors at California Lutheran University were looking forward to the annual 100 Days Until Graduation Party for the class of 2020. However, the Office of Alumni and Public Relations decided to cancel the event, and instead arrange a revamped version of the event, now known as a senior ‘block party,’ in April.
“I think I was kind of the first to find out and confirm everyone’s suspicions about the party being canceled. It originally was supposed to be this Friday, but I just found out about this information last week,” senior Ceryna-May Baens said.
The 100 Days event is usually held during the first week of February, but Baens said she did not received an email about the 100 Days event being canceled or moved. Baens said she reached out to the Office of Alumni and Public Relations, because she had heard about the party being canceled through word-of-mouth.
Senior Director of Alumni and Family Relations Rachel Ronning Lindgren said the change of plans was due to safety issues over the years.
“If one person doesn’t feel safe, then we need to listen to it and respond, so it was time for us to try something new. Only one-third of the senior class came to this event last year and we’re trying a new event that we’re hoping will have a broader reach to all graduating seniors,” Lindgren said.
An email response to Baens’ email from Jana Weber, administrative assistant of Alumni and Family Relations, said that each year the office does a post-event evaluation to look at student safety and if the event is achieving its goal of officially welcoming graduating seniors into the Cal Lutheran Alumni Association.
“With these two factors in mind, it was determined that it is time for us to create a new way to honor our graduating seniors in their transition from students to alumni,” Weber said. “We are very excited for our upcoming inaugural event and all the planning that is going into celebrating the Class of 2020 with this new Cal Lutheran graduation tradition.”
Lindgren said people thought the senior party was a well-attended event, but the numbers proved differently.
Lindgren said the revamped version will include a DJ, food and live entertainment and will be held on April 21, 3:30-5:30 p.m.
“There will be a check-in to come into the senior block party, but just by changing it and giving it a different feel to it compared to the 100 days celebration as it was more of a dance party and a club that didn’t necessarily appeal to a lot of people,” Lindgren said.
Lindgren said she believes the revamped party will be better, and the start of a new tradition for future senior classes. Lindgren added invitations will be sent out next week.
Baens said she was upset when she received the email from Weber.
“I was just disappointed more than anything. I understand that they’re having a ‘revamped’ version, but it’s just more so the fact that this has been a tradition that all the classes prior to us had experienced, and I think the lack of communication in the alumni office is very disappointing,” Baens said.
Baens said she does not want to sound ungrateful for what the Cal Lutheran alumni has put together in regards to school events, but it will be disappointing if the event is made into a campus event where anyone can come. Baens said she would prefer for the event to be held in an intimate setting with her fellow seniors that can relate to the excitement of graduating in 100 days, rather than celebrating the few days left if the party is held in April.
Senior Senate Director Kimberly Ann Lee said she thought it was weird that the Cal Lutheran Alumni Office did not say anything about it previously, as it is a topic that seniors should know about. Lee said they should have been more transparent, and announced it in their senior newsletters.
“In general, I think our student government is really great at listening to our opinions, but I think when it comes to people higher up, they don’t really give much regard to what the students have to say,” Baens said. “In a sense, the student body kind of feels like we keep continuously getting burned by Cal Lutheran from small things to bigger things.”