The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Board of Trustees thumbs up over $120,000 for graduation ceremony

Graduation regalia are on display at the El Camino College Bookstore on May 23. Graduates participating in the 77th Commencement Ceremony on June 7 are required to wear them. “We encourage graduates to purchase their regalia from the Bookstore immediately,” the El Camino website says. (Ma. Gisela Ordenes | The Union)

The Board of Trustees has approved more than $120,000 over the last few months for El Camino College’s 77th Commencement Ceremony on June 7.

Ten items in preparation for graduation were given go signals in February. The board added two more items during its board meeting on Monday, May 20.

El Camino also hosts additional graduation events, including a Lavender graduation for LGBTQIA+, ImmiGrad Celebration for undocumented and immigrant students, Black Student Success graduation for Black students and MANA graduation for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students.

Expenditures approved by the board from February are only for the main graduation ceremony. These include security services, cart rentals and trumpeters.

The board signed $34,611 for security services, which include crowd traffic control and metal detectors.

Board of Trustees Vice President and Acting President Trisha Murakawa said there are thousands of people who attend commencement.

“So that’s probably why we have to hire additional security or pay some of our officers over time,” Murakawa said.

The most expensive individual contract for the commencement was given the nod during the April 15 board meeting.

The cost is $35,719 for equipment including microphones, backstage monitors, speakers, audio cables and technicians needed to provide a concert sound system.

One of the items approved during the May 20 board meeting was a $15,194 contract with Sunbelt Rentals which provides flooring to cover the field at Murdock Stadium.

The contract is effective from June 3 to 8 and includes flooring installation, removal services, equipment, a project manager and labor travel fees.

The total cost for commencement is $121,590 according to the purchase orders listed on BoardDocs.

In 2020, Murakawa questioned the board why the college had to pay a large amount of money for the commencement ceremony. She was a member of the Board of Trustees then.

She told The Union she was informed by her colleagues it is a tradition that the board approves every year.

“The cost is what the cost is,” Murakawa said. “I think it’s important that we send off our students in the proper way and in the way that they deserve to celebrate it and their accomplishment be acknowledged.”

Trustee Brett Roberts said he wants graduates to have an amazing time at graduation.

“I hope for [students] to cherish their time here at El Camino and for [students] and their family to reflect upon what they’re achieving,” Roberts said.

Student Trustee Connor Lai also said some of his hopes for the students attending the commencement ceremony.

“I think…the most important aspect of commencement is that it’s a celebratory aspect, honoring the students, honoring how far they’ve come and their future, journeys, whether that be a transfer or through a career,” Lai said. “All that hard work, I think, really pays off and it’s really amazing just to spend it with friends, spend it with family.”

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