Hold IL graduation in school's new gym

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By The Staff

This year’s Indian Land High School graduation ceremony has become one big headache for everyone involved – the Class of 2008, their parents and school administrators.

The school planned to hold the event at Byrnes Auditorium at Winthrop University, as it has done for the last several years. But this year, Byrnes is undergoing renovations, so it isn’t available. But there was some miscommunication and the high school didn’t realize it didn’t have a graduation venue until March.

But there was and is a simple answer to the graduation site dilemma – hold the event in the school’s new gymnasium.

We’ve heard that it’s too small, “not nice enough” and doesn’t have an adequate sound system.

Let’s address each issue:

- Too small: The gym seats 1,500 people. That means each of Indian Land High’s 110 graduates could invite 13 guests each.

- Not nice enough: If it’s not nice enough when it’s almost brand new, when will it ever be? Every other high school in the county holds its graduation ceremony in its gym, except for Lancaster High School, which holds its in Memorial Stadium, unless it rains and then it’s held in the gym.

With rented chairs for the graduates, a stage and some decorations, any gym can be gussied up for graduation. The focus isn’t really on the venue, anyway; it’s on the graduates.

- No adequate sound system: This might have just been an issue in the stadium, but it sounds like it’s going to be an issue at Winthrop Coliseum, too. If the sound system in the ILHS gym is good enough for basketball games, it ought to be good enough for graduation. If not, the school could consider buying a better sound system. After all, graduation does come around every year. And there are sound systems for rent.

Students were asked to use some of their senior trip money to fund the change in venue. If the school didn’t want to foot the bill, it shouldn’t have suggested the coliseum as an option when it asked the seniors to vote on the matter.

The right thing is for the school to pay the bill for the coliseum, but the smart thing would have been to hold it in the new gym.