California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

Honor chords clarification

Due to last year’s gold cord confusion at California Lutheran University commencement, faculty committees are taking steps to distinguish different honors, starting by changing the Latin honors cords to purple and gold.

Cal Lutheran recognizes students receiving honors at commencement including Latin honors and various academic honors societies. The students receiving honors are recognized by distributing colored cords to be worn during commencement.

Latin honors are honors that any undergraduate student can receive if they reach a certain GPA and a minimum of 30 credits.

“The university has always given gold chords to students who get Latin honors,” said Maria Kohnke, associate provost of Academic Services and Registrar.

The issue that rose last year was, “some of the honors societies also started giving out gold cords to their students, so it looked like we were giving a whole bunch of Latin honors to people who weren’t actually earning it,” Kohnke said.

Aside from popular belief, honors cords were never banned last year.

“A committee called the commencement committee, by which the registrar serves to get the event itself prepared, sent out an email telling students they couldn’t wear anything except university issued regalia,” Linda Ritterbush, chair of the academic standards committee said. 

In the end, every student receiving Latin honors or were part of various honors societies that ordered regalia for commencement were able to wear such regalia regardless of the color overlap. 

“It’s an issue of being fair to the students getting Latin honors, who work hard to get Latin honors,” Kohnke said.

“The way I see honors cords is that they’re a way for us to exemplify our achievements and diversity here on campus. After four years of hard work, it’s nice to proudly show off what we’ve worked for,” former student committee member Cecilia Calderon said.

This year the academic standards committee was asked to look into the matter and make a recommendation on behalf of the faculty. So far they have added a color to the Latin honors cords and are in the process of researching what methods other schools are using to find the best solution for Cal Lutheran.

“We changed the cords to purple and gold so they are distinct and so the people who earned Latin honors will be the only one wearing this,” Kohnke said.

Although changing the Latin honors cords was the best solution for this year’s commencement, the faculty would like to go back to just gold cords for the following years.

“The committee is working to see if next year we can go back to gold cords,” Kohnke said.

Ritterbush said the committee has recommended there be no restrictions this year regarding regalia.

“Students put in hours of work and energy for both Latin honors and for the honor societies. Both groups work extremely hard and both deserve the chance to exhibit their accomplishments,” Calderon said.

Steps are continuing to be made so that students who earn and receive honors are represented and distinguished at commencement

“We are proud of all of our students who win distinctions and honors at graduation,” Ritterbush said.

Lydia Snodderly
Staff Writer
Published February 24th, 2016

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