Convocation: 2016 vs 2019


Freshmen enjoy the campus involvement fair right after Tuesday's convocation ceremony.

Stefano Ausenda, Contributing Editor

It was the day before the official start of the Fall 2016 semester at Pace’s New York City campus, and the RAs knocked on the doors of brand new freshmen as a reminder for them to prepare for the first time the entire class would meet together at the same event—and the last time until their commencement almost four years later—the Class of 2020’s official convocation.

The freshmen first split up in groups of about 20 or 30 to meet with their advisors, who talked to them about the theme for the event, and in a way, for the entire year, grit.

After that, all the freshmen piled into the basement gym, and listened to various speakers welcome them to the university and offer their insightful  words of wisdom. One of these speakers included former university president Stephen Friedman, at one of his final convocation ceremonies.

I was one of those freshmen on that day, and even though I liked convocation, I thought it was going to be something a little different. I thought it was going to be a lot longer than an hour and a half, with more opportunities to meet new people, instead of just a few speeches and then dismissal. Despite this, convocation made me very excited for what Pace University and New York City had in store for me.

Fast forward three years, and it’s once again the day before the official start of the fall semester, and current freshmen are once again awaiting convocation. In some ways, the ceremony is very similar to 2016’s; with the entire freshman class gathering together in the gym, speeches from students and faculty, and so on. However unlike 2016’s convocation,  this years’ didn’t have a specific theme. Also, the current freshmen were given Pace University lapel pins, which 2016 freshmen did not receive.

However, the biggest difference between the two convocations had nothing to do with what actually occurred during the ceremony, but what happened immediately following them.

While freshmen were walking back to their dorms from the gym, representatives from dozens of campus organizations were waiting on Alumni Lawn to welcome them to Pace with open arms and introduce them to their clubs and organizations. Everyone from the Pace Film Club to fraternities and sororities to the Residence Hall Association were there.

To contrast, no student organizations of any kind were waiting for students after convocation at the city campus back in 2016.

I think that the post-convocation involvement fair showed Pleasantville freshmen how close and how much of family people on this campus are, more so in my opinion, than down in Manhattan.

Dyson freshman Justin Saluzzi thought that convocation was very well organized, and had a lot of useful information for the students.

“My experience (here) so far has been great,” he added. “I think that there’s been more than enough events for freshmen to go to and meet new people, and I’m very excited for the rest of the year.”

Another Dyson freshman, Aracelly Santos, also enjoyed convocation a lot.

“I thought it was cute,” she said. “I really liked the singer, the pins, and the pledge.”

Her experience at Pace so far has also been a positive one.

Welcome to Pace, freshmen! I hope that your experience here will be a memorable as mine has been, and I wish all of you the best of luck.