It has been a month since NYU announced its decision to hold this year’s commencement at Yankee Stadium, home of what Red Sox and Mets fans consider the Evil Empire. Usually held in Washington Square Park, the ceremony was moved due to renovations.
“If that happens to me, I will cry,” said CAS junior and lifelong Sox fan Rachel Chapman. “Graduation is such a community thing, and when you put it in a sports stadium, you’re including another community.”
But depending on the baseball game schedule, the 2009 graduation could be moved to Citi Field, the new home of the Mets, set to open in April 2009. If the class of 2009 has their commencement in Yankee Stadium, however, there is a chance it could be in the new Yankee Stadium, also opening in April 2009.
“I would rather graduate somewhere that’s more neutral, because I’ve always kind of thought of graduation as a momentous, happy occasion, and I wouldn’t really want to associate it with the Yankees,” said CAS junior and Mets fan Francesca Basile.
Some students believe feelings of community are not limited to a graduation in Washington Square Park, and that Yankee Stadium qualifies as a uniquely New York experience that makes its selection as the 2008 graduation setting entirely appropriate.
“NYU is supposed to be a university that is ‘in and of the city,’ not a university that is in and of Washington Square Park,” said CAS junior Alex Hogan, a Mets fan. “I hate the Yanks, but Yankee Stadium is a landmark and Shea isn’t.”