Will I join the procession on graduation day?
It is the goal of every student to look forward to his or her graduation ceremony which is symbolic of having successfully completed a course of studies. At the tertiary level the stakes are even higher.
For me, a first-time UWI student, the spectacular day should be Friday, November 2, 2012 between 5:30 pm and 7:30 pm, when along with hundreds of other students we would cross the finishing line. But alas, with each passing day, this dream appears to be an illusion, thanks to the Office of Graduate Studies at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus and the Students' Guild.
The former is unable to provide a definitive time for the updating of the Students Administration System (SAS) to reflect formal clearance for graduation which is a prerequisite for registration for graduation. For the past three weeks, the office has advised that while my name appears on a list, lists are being processed in batches in order to be sent to a committee for final approval.
The Office of Graduate Studies is unable to say when the processing will be completed. In the case of the guild, its hierarchy is wrapped up with its own challenges with the university's administration which appears to be compromising its ability to provide effective leadership, as my contact with them to date demonstrates.
Having explored my options, it seems that I can now forget about graduation day as my health is at risk - being on pressure tablets - and accept the fact that I had too much expectation that the University of the West Indies was serious about customer service. It is therefore likely that students like myself who are in this position will simply pick up their degrees maybe long after the ceremony when the bureaucratic bungling has run its course.