Spring 2006 Student News

Senior Addresses Fellow Graduates at Senior Dinner

Elisa Cervantes spoke to her fellow graduating class of sociology majors at the annual senior dinner in April 2006.

Below is her speech:

When I was asked to speak as a representative of the class of 2006 sociology majors I was honored, but then I realized what a challenging task it truly was to represent such a diverse group of people. How could I hope to encompass and tell the experiences of so many people?

If we look around this room we see people from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures, we see people from all over the country – and from all over the world. Still, I think there are a few things that we all have in common.

First of all, I think it’s safe to say that we are all well acquainted with the practice of the all-nighter seeing as how we just turned in our final theses this afternoon. I know I had never written so much in my life and I can now tell you about everybody’s business on this campus due to the postings I read in the carrels I had to pass the last few nights in. For example, Bobby loves Susie, Jenny loves Greg, and Ryan hates Econ. I think many of us doubted ourselves and our capability to produce such a substantive, thorough, and professional piece of work, but we all did it.

Second, we are all sociology majors so we are all familiar with the conversations that ensues when you tell someone your major. “Oh so what are you majoring in?” You answer, “Sociology,” and then comes the inevitable, “ha! What are you going to do with that?” Sometimes they are a little more polite and say something like, “Oh that’s interesting…but what are you going to do with it?” I respect every single person in this room for having the courage to keep studying the discipline despite these discouraging remarks. This year, we’ve all had to face the reality of that question and so in May many of us will be going in different directions. Some will be going into volunteer programs, some will be teaching, some will be going to graduate school or Law school, or perhaps playing professional sports, and some of us will be entering other professions of the working world. I think that’s one of the greatest strengths of our major, that it gives us the flexibility to do so many things.

Lastly, I think we all share a passion for people and a curiosity to understand not only ourselves and those around us, but to understand our communities, our countries, and our world. In this room I see a very special group of people; I want to thank all of you for being my teachers, students and faculty alike. I think we have all learned as much from each other and our own experiences as we have learned from our textbooks.

I would like conclude with a quote by Marian Wright Edleman, “A lot of people are waiting for Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi to come back – but they’re all gone. We are it. It is up to us. It is up to you.”


Yalda Baktash, class of ’18 (Spring 2016)
Eeuphelma Wangchuck, class of ’16 (Spring 2016)
Caitlin Snell, class of ’16 (Spring 2016)
Danyel Semple, class of ’15 (Spring 2015)
Kendall Ciesemier, class of ’15 (Spring 2014)
Josh Powell, class of ’14 (Spring 2014)
Josh Powell, class of ’14 (Fall 2013)
Adan Gonzalez, class of ’15 (Spring 2013)
Karina Ramírez, class of ’10 (Fall 2010)
Rebecca Shinners, class of ’09 (Fall 2010)
José Zachary Canto, class of ’08 (Fall 2007)
Elisa Cervantes, class of ’06 (Spring 2006)
Rebecca Medway, class of ’06 (Spring 2006)
Alexandra Rollins, class of ’03 (Spring 2002)
Carrie-Ann Ferraro, class of ’03 (Spring 2002)