Friday, May 8, 2009

A Graduates Dilemma; To Shake or Not to Shake?

Here's a diploma and a wave?
Updated: 05/08/2009 06:04 AM
By: Britt Godshalk

TROY, N.Y. -- “I thought it was a great idea,” said Sage graduate Felicia Bishop.

“I think it's a little excessive,” said Sage graduate Stephanie Coppa.

Soon to be Sage graduates sounded off on the latest suggestion from their President. When accepting their diploma on Saturday, she says, forgo the familiar handshake. The reason? Germs.

“I felt like that was genius,” said Bishop. “It's better to be safe than sorry.”

“That's true and I think that's President Scrimshaw's motto. And because of her background in health, she just wants to be safe,” said Sage graduate Julia Killey.

“In the past, when we talked about bird flu, I didn't care, like, it'll never happen to me. And now swine flu, we have signs all over campus and gel dispensers outside, I guess it's a lot more serious than I thought. I've been using the gel dispensers like it's my job,” said Sage graduate Samantha Hall.

“So, should we all wear facemasks?” asked Coppa. “I mean, where is the line of being cautious and being overly cautious?”

The State Department of Health says as long as you wash your hands regularly and don't have flu like symptoms that could be H1N1, you can continue with life as usual. But as a local college prepares to hold its commencement this weekend, its administration is taking an extra precaution, just in case. Our Britt Godshalk explains.

Sage Colleges say both Tufts and MIT have decided to nix the handshake. St. Rose says that college considered it as well, but decided to keep the gesture, as will Union and UAlbany.

“It's tradition that we're breaking,” said Jen Resso.

Why do we even shake hands at all? Well, the President of the Colleges, who is not only a public health expert, but also an anthropologist, says it used to be that you were checking to see if your comrade was holding a sword. She says in this day and age, not only does that not apply, it's just not healthy. It caused us to wonder what will Sage graduates being doing instead of handshakes?

“It's kinda awkward if you just get the diploma. It's like, 'thanks, see ya later!'” Hall said.

“What can we do other than smile or do we just stand there?” asked Bishop.

“Maybe like the bump,” suggested Coppa. “Or maybe, oh wait, no handshaking, so no high five.”

“Probably a nod and a thank you will be it from me,” Killey said.

After all, a handshake is nice, but the diploma is really what they're after.

My suggestion: rubber gloves. Or, in the alternative, fake hands.

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