Albion Shield? No Thank You

I swear I was just moving into Wesley Hall, making friends across the hall, sharing a community bathroom and making that extra far walk from one of the furthest places on campus. Nevertheless, four years have come and gone, meaning on May 7 I’ll be sitting on the Quad awaiting my moment when I officially become an Albion College graduate.

Albion College graduates its students in a black cap and gown. It’s made out of simple, basic material, making it easy to borrow a cap and gown from a previous graduate and save some money on a gown we will all wear for four hours max.

But not this year.

Albion has changed its gown, now featuring the shield on both sides of graduates’  chests. Yes, this means the shield is positioned perfectly on top of a female’s breasts.

Confused? Me too.

The shields themselves are not embroidered on the actual gown, instead they are embroidered on a weird tab of fabric that is sewn down at the point. It’s essentially a large pined medal, except they are made out of thread and fabric. I can’t take it off. And I don’t want it.

The idea makes sense, I guess. It’s something more personalized that represents Albion. Yet, I’d rather have the gowns changed to purple if they wanted to make our gowns more Albion-ish. Heck, I would’ve even taken a shield on the back of my cap or the back neck of my gown.

As a female, I am not looking forward to having more attention drawn to my chest on graduation. The placement is too on point to avoid this outcome.

As an involved student, like most on Albion’s campus, why place the shields somewhere where our cords and stoles will cover them? I mean really? It defeats the purpose.

As a student who has paid plenty of fees and different tuition rates the last four years, I could have done without dropping over 70 dollars on something I’m going to wear for four hours max.I would have rather saved the extra money for our senior class gift, or food or basically anything else.

Many of my fellow graduates shared the opinions as well when we found out just a few months before graduation about the change in gowns.

Alina Karuzas, from Ishpeming, Mich., agreed by saying, “I don’t like that I had to pay so much for it. I also think the double breast is excessive.”

I have yet to talk to a graduating student who actually likes the change.

Albion has made some great changes and strides over the years, and I know the college will continue to do so when I graduate. But I don’t think the addition of the shields is necessarily one of them.

On May 7, I’ll join the rest of my class and become an alumna of Albion, wearing a new cap and gown that I don’t like or want. But no matter how much I dislike the new gown, the class of 2016 has come far from our Wesley days, and that’s the most important part of it all.


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